Linuxcare: Arne Flones: Revelations on the Revolution

[ Thanks to Linuxcare for this link.

“My original dilemma: how can I characterize our technological
revolution? How can I craft some overwhelmingly simple concept that
explains what being involved with free software is all about? I
struggled with this because I’ve found it incredibly difficult to
describe my work to people outside our movement without boring them
to tears with technical babble.”

“During one of the panel discussions, moderated by Doc Searls of
Linux Journal and Cluetrain fame, it came to me. The discussion was
skirting the periphery of several issues when Russell Pavlicek,
technical consultant on Linux technologies for Compaq Computer
said, “The most valuable intellectual property in an
organization is not the code base; it’s the people.” Even though he
was speaking about current intellectual property issues, the
discussion immediately shifted to focus on how our revolution
focuses on people. To me, this was a revelation.

“In spite of our large base of robust code, and our finely honed
techniques, the core of what makes the free software movement work
is our people. It is only through our people that our software’s
value can express itself. Thus, our revolution wouldn’t work
without giving credit to those who are getting their hands dirty in
the trenches. This is why we elevate those people above everybody
else. Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Alan Cox and
every other person hacking code are much more important than all
the CEO’s put together. That’s why we reward them with the fame and
fortune they so richly deserve.”