Is open source a social movement?

According to some, open source is a social movement. Fortunately, I may add, that is mostly in the past. While some still emphasize the altruism present in some of open source’s founders, today’s corporate participation is driven by enlightened self-interest and has nothing to do with a past or current social movement.

Most companies don’t want to participate in social movements, certainly not at a time when they are divisive. They may join once everyone agrees that the movement was a good idea, but otherwise will stay on the sidelines and focus on their business of selling products or services, whatever they may be. Fortunately, to participate and benefit from open source, companies don’t have to take political stances.

All you need is enlightened self-interest. Almost all companies by now know that open source helps them save costs. Many know that you need to engage with open source to manage your technical dependencies. Some know that open source helps fend off monopolists that eat into your margins. And a few understand that open source lets you take your software future into your own hands, avoiding vendor lock-in, speeding up innovation, and reducing operational risks.

If you want to charter your own open source future, we are here to help you determine your open source business strategy using our new seminar of the same name.