Archive for

Avoid the tool trap when building communities


Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different organizations attempting to build successful communities inside and outside the open source world.

Many of them quickly fall into something I call the tool trap.

Meaning, they immediately jump into a conversation about what tool or technology they will use to support the community:

“Where are we going to put the wiki?”

“Should we build the website using Drupal?”

“What should we call the mailing list?”

“We should starting playing around with [new technology X].”

This is no huge surprise. Great community-building tools are now available to us that never existed before and it is very hard to resist the urge to start nerding out on new technology.

And tools are important. But tools alone do not create community.

People create community.

[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]

BetterMeans: a new app for running your organization the open source way


Last week I received a heads up about a new web application launching today from a company called BetterMeans with an impressive goal: to build the infrastructure (processes, technology, governance, etc.) to make an open organizational structure like we talk about here on opensouce.com a reality.

From their website:

BetterMeans.com is a web platform where people can start and run companies in a new decentralized way.

– Teams self-form, self-organize, and self-manage using an issue-tracking tool
– There is no management class, only natural hierarchies.
– Leadership emerges organically by users earning other users’ confidence
– Compensation is based on contribution
– Strategy and ideas are crowd-sourced
– There’s full accountability and transparency. Relationships are built on trust.
– Ownership is distributed
– Capital allocation and decision-making are decentralized

If a traditional company was a network architecture, it would be client-server.

We’re building a platform for peer-to-peer companies that are more agile, resilient, and innovative.

The video below explains what they are doing and why.

[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]

Open innovation and open source innovation: what do they share and where do they differ?


Recently, Stefan Lindegaard, open innovation expert and author of the new book The Open Innovation Revolution, joined opensource.com for a webcast about open innovation.

Based on the positive feedback from this webcast, we decided to host a conversation between Stefan and regular opensource.com contributor Chris Grams regarding the ways open source and open innovation are different and the things they share.

To learn more about open innovation, visit Stefan’s 15inno blog.

Collaboration & Sharing

CHRIS: In the open source world, we always come back to collaboration and sharing as key principles. These days, many organizations would say they have collaborative cultures (or aspire to, at least), but where the open source way really shines is in its ability to inspire people to collaborate beyond the boundaries of their own organization.

It strikes me that the open innovation world also encourages people to reach beyond the walls of their organization as well, but if I were to point out one key difference, it would be that in the open innovation world, collaboration is clearly transactional or even contractual. You give on the promise of receiving in return.

STEFAN: You are right about this. Big companies engage with open innovation because the combination of their internal resources and the external resources provides more innovation opportunities that they can feed their corporate engines with. They want to increase revenues and profits, and they definitely put this focus first rather than “just” trying to do good things.

[Read the rest of this post on opensource.com]

Hey, I Wrote a Book!

The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World

Available now in print and electronic versions.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: