5 key forces driving open source today

1. The rise of open source foundations

Fifteen years into the movement, it’s clear that no single form of open source governance is ideal. While many successful open source projects share characteristics in the abstract, every approach has its pitfalls and every community faces governance challenges. That stated, two themes summarize the recurring strengths of today’s most successful open source projects.

First, while they may appear to be democracies, almost all are not. In nearly every case, the right to have a binding voice in determining outcomes — by voting or as part of a formal consensus — is granted to a limited number of community participants on the basis of merit associated with contribution of some kind. This results in a strong, relatively stable core leadership comprising the most favored leaders.