Saturday, May 13, 2006


So, why aren't more enterprises contributing to open source?

So, why aren't more enterprises contributing to open source? I did an interview yesterday that attempted to uncover this behavior that folks should see in an industry publication sometime next week. Anyway, here are some of my thoughts as to why...

1. Many enterprises have absolutely zero clue as to where their own intellectual property stops and therefore constrains the ability to participate. Would love to see analysts provide guidance on helping enterprises contribute and remove roadblocks such as these. Maybe an opportunity for the folks at Redmonk to do some open source analysis and publish under creative commons?

2. Enterprisey folks are way too dependent on vendors showing up and doing Powerpoint. Participating in open source may require them to do Powerpoint themselves? Maybe even some of them aren't capable of creating compelling content?

3. We are too busy practicing Management by Magazine and simply need the folks over at CIO and InformationWeek to start telling us more frequently it is ok to contribute.

4. Architects today are rewarded and compensated based on "internal" influence which has characteristics that don't translate well to open source community models.

5. Some architects in corporate environments don't understand technology and may not have even written a single line of code in their entire career and are afraid of embarrasing themselves when they interact with a community of folks who truly know what they are talking about.

6. Some architects may have good ability but not at the level of myself or any of my peers and are afraid of feeling inferior in our presence.

I suspect that others may be able to provide their own insight as to why folks in corporate America are using but not contributing to open source. Let's get the dialog going...

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