“We’re just a couple weeks away from this year’s Open Source
Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco. Brad Smith, general
counsel for Microsoft, is the closing keynote on the first day.
This speaking slot has previously been filled by the likes of
Clayton Christensen, Geoffrey Moore, and Lawrence Lessig, and each
of these gentlemen have given us deep talks that have forced one to
think about open source in the world at large from an economics,
business, and legal perspective. Mr. Smith has large shoes to fill,
and this worries me.
“You see Mr. Smith is a corporate executive, and most execs
(with a few notable exceptions like Mårten Mickos) feel
compelled to ‘pitch the company.’ Mr. Smith is a lawyer (and
general counsel to boot) so language is his oeuvre. We’ve seen Brad
Smith’s pitches before now. Here’s what I hope we don’t see at