Jim Whitehurst

This tag is associated with 11 posts

Toyota gives customer-driven design the green light


A few weeks ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst wrote an article for BusinessWeek suggesting that Toyota might benefit from doing things the open source way when it comes to building the software inside its automobiles.

From Jim’s article:

Open source is about leveraging the power of participation to solve complex problems such as manufacturing, health care, and government. This advantage is why numerous 21st century successes—from Google to Facebook to Wikipedia—are all based on open-source software and principles. It may also be how Toyota can improve its vehicles and ultimately regain consumer trust.

Toyota may be listening.

Last week, Associated Press reported that Toyota has opened a new Design Quality Innovation Division. The new group will be led by Kiyotaka Ise, formerly of Toyota’s Lexus subsidiary, and will be tasked with more quickly reflecting customer feedback in automobile design.

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

BusinessWeek turns an eye to open source beyond technology


On opensource.com, we aspire to take principles the open source software movement has applied to building better software faster and find more uses for them in business, education, government, the law, and generally in our lives.

So a few weeks back, I was excited to see that BusinessWeek (now Bloomberg BusinessWeek) ran a special report called Eye on: Open Source that also embraced the wider usage of open source principles in technology and beyond.

My personal opinion? I think a few of the articles in the special report confuse true community-driven open source innovation with concepts like user-driven product design, crowdsourcing, and design competitions. But it was still neat to see BusinessWeek recognize the applicability of open source principles beyond software.

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

Three signs your corporate culture isn’t ready for the open source way


It’s a good bet that the next generation of defining companies will have corporate cultures built the open source way– around openness and collaboration, while fostering community and culture that extend outside the company walls.

In fact many of the defining companies of the first decade of this century show these characteristics (with one very notable exception we discussed earlier).

It kind of makes you want to rush in and see if you can change your old style corporate culture and get in on the action. But try to change too fast and your efforts may backfire.

So here are three signs that your corporate culture may not quite be ready for the open source way– and some tips to help you move closer.

[Read the rest of this post over at opensource.com]

Introducing opensource.com


One of the things I’m most excited about as I start my new job at New Kind is that I have the opportunity to continue to do work with Red Hat. Today, in the spirit of release early, release often, Red Hat opened the doors to a new website, opensource.com. In addition to my work here at Dark Matter Matters, I’ll also be writing for the Business channel of opensource.com.

So what is opensource.com?

It is the beginning of a conversation about how the world can apply the lessons of the open source way broadly– in business, in government, in education, in the law, and generally in our lives. Unlike most other open source sites, it is not just about software. From the site:

The term open source began as a way to describe software source code and the collaborative model for how it’s developed. Red Hat used this model for developing technology and built a business model around open source and its principles: Openness. Transparency. Collaboration. Diversity. Rapid prototyping… The open source way is more than a development model; it defines the characteristics of a culture.

Although this site was started by Red Hat, it is not intended to be a Red Hat site, but rather a site where the open source conversation is extended to all companies and organizations, even beyond the technology industry. Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst states it really well in his introductory post:

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Jim Whitehurst video: Competing as a 21st century enterprise among 20th century giants


The Duke Fuqua School of Business just posted Jim Whitehurst’s presentation from their Coach K Leadership Conference entitled “Competing as a 21st Century Enterprise Among 20th Century Giants.” I referred to it a while back in a post entitled Jim Whitehurst: 5 tips for competing in the 21st century.

Watch a stream of the whole talk here or click on the image above.

I think it is fantastic, but would love to hear what you think.

Is open source creating jobs?


On the heels of last week’s White House Jobs and Economic Forum, President Barack Obama announced a series of job creation ideas today in a speech at the Brookings Institution.

As I mentioned in my last post, Red Hat’s Jim Whitehurst was one of two technology industry CEOs who attended the White House forum last week, the other was Eric Schmidt from Google. Two things Red Hat and Google have in common? We are both strong supporters of open source and we are both hiring.

But this morning I had another thought– beyond the jobs at Google and Red Hat, are we– and other companies in the open source community– helping create jobs at a broader level? Meaning, are the products, services, and innovations of open source companies creating job opportunities for people who use what we make?

To find some data, I turned to Indeed.com, a search engine for job seekers that also has a fascinating job trends tool you can use to search on how often a particular term appears in job listings.

As a baseline data point, I looked at the chart for “receptionist,” a common job that might be a decent bellwether for job trends. The chart looks pretty much like you might expect:


receptionist Job Trends graph

Not great news for any receptionist looking for work. This term had once appeared in almost 2% of job postings, now it is hovering right below 0.8%.

Next, for some overall industry perspective, I looked at their page on Information Technology job trends. Not a lot of good news here either, unfortunately. These two pieces of information were disturbing:

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Jim Whitehurst: How to create jobs the open source way


Fantastic blog post by Jim Whitehurst today on redhat.com called Creating jobs the open source way. As Matt Asay reported yesterday, Jim Whitehurst was one of only two technology CEOs present at President Obama’s Jobs and Economic Forum (the other was Eric Schmidt of Google) at the White House.

Red Hat CEO and President Jim Whitehurst

In his post, Jim makes a clear link from the open source way to innovation to jobs. I love the closing paragraph, which I’ve included below:

“Red Hat has built a successful, growing S&P 500 business on the power of open source, not just as a development model, but as a business and organizational model. While ours isn’t the only solution, I do believe business, government and society can unlock the value of information and create good, long-term jobs by sharing and working together.”

The White House has streaming video of all of yesterday’s events here.

I also found this article, which provides further information on a few of Jim’s points about national broadband infrastructure development, very interesting.

10 more people from Red Hat you should follow


A few weeks ago, I posted a list of ten people from Red Hat you should be following, and promised there were more people to come. For today’s list, the rule is that they must be on Twitter, and I’ve split them into two groups: The first group is all Red Hat executives and the second group is what I’m going to call Red Hat catalysts– people inside of Red Hat who make things happen because of their ideas and passion.

First, here are five Red Hat executives on Twitter:

1. Jim Whitehurst, CEO

Yes, Jim Whitehurst is on Twitter and has been for almost a year. Sure he’s not saying much yet, but he has a pretty impressive list of followers (almost 400 at last count). Perhaps if a bunch of you go follow him right now, he’ll feel the need to start tweeting more often. Make sure to send him a message saying Chris Grams told you to say he’s not posting enough.

2. Iain Gray, Vice President of Customer Engagement

Iain Gray, who I just wrote about earlier this week here, is starting to become a regular Twitterer, which is a good thing for Red Hat, because he has some of the best ideas in the company. The only bummer about following Iain on Twitter is you lose the killer Scottish accent. Find him here.

3. DeLisa Alexander, Senior Vice President of People & Brand

DeLisa Alexander is the executive who spearheaded the combination of HR and brand communications into one group at Red Hat, a subject I wrote about here. She is just getting started on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean you should go easy on her. Ask her some tough questions, like “how much transparency is too much?” or “do job titles matter?”. Oh yeah, she is also a great boss. I’m such a suck up.

4. Rachel Cassidy, Vice President of Global Professional Services

Rachel Cassidy is one of those smart executives who perfectly balances professional experience, diplomatic savvy, and fun. She also manages some of the smartest and best Red Hat employees, the ones that spend their days in the customers’ worlds making them happy. I’d love to see her sharing more of her ideas and experiences on Twitter. Please tell her I said so.

5. Marco Bill-Peter, Vice President of Global Support

You know, I think I have only met Marco Bill-Peter once or twice in person (he works out of our Westford, MA office), but I still feel like I know him well. He’s just one of those people. Workwise, he’s a Red Hat superstar who is in charge of Red Hat support globally. Which doesn’t mean he will fix your server issue via Twitter, so don’t go there. But you can find his tweets here.

Ok, now on to the Red Hat catalysts:

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Jim Whitehurst: 5 tips for competing in the 21st century


I spent two days this week at the Coach K Leadership Conference at Duke. It’s always good to get above the trees for a few days, and this experience was exactly that kind of opportunity. Jonathan Opp did a nice summary post on the conference here and you can see the live Twitter stream here.

Jim Whitehurst on stage at the Coach K leadership conference (photo by Jonathan Opp)

Jim Whitehurst on stage at the Coach K leadership conference (photo by Jonathan Opp)

On Wednesday, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst gave a keynote entitled “Competing as a 21st Century Enterprise Among 20th Century Giants.” Jim comes at this subject from a pretty unique vantage point: he is probably one of the few people in the world who has run both a 20th century company (Delta Airlines, as COO) and a 21st century company (that would be us, Red Hat).

In his presentation, Jim covered some of the things he has learned in moving from the command and control, military-inspired corporate environment of Delta (which is pretty similar to the structure of many of the other great 20th century companies) to the open source-inspired corporate structure here at Red Hat (if you want to learn more about Red Hat and the open source way, here and here and here and here are some posts that will help). In particular, Jim gave five tips that will help your company compete better in the 21st century world– I’ve summarized them below:

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John Seely Brown’s secret formula for an innovation culture


I spent today at the Coach K Leadership Conference at Duke University (Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst will be speaking there tomorrow morning). One of today’s highlights was a panel called “Leading the Creative Enterprise” featuring John Seely Brown (the former director of the famous innovation hub at Xerox PARC).

I always love it when really smart people boil down the world into a simple 2×2 matrix, and during his comments, JSB put a chart up on the screen that looked something like this:

johnseelybrown To create a culture that will be successful at innovating, JSB says you must have four types of people: artists, scientists, designers, and engineers working together; each group must be represented.

Two of the groups (the artists and the scientists) get their energy from the way they internally process their own ideas, while the other two groups (designers and engineers) get their energy by thinking about how those ideas are brought to the outside world.

Looking at the matrix the other way, artists and designers share a common cause of trying to move people’s minds while scientists and engineers are firmly grounded in the world of actually making stuff work beyond the idea itself.

I’ve certainly seen these roles all represented in projects at Red Hat that have resulted in great innovations (the group that worked on the Red Hat values years ago comes to mind). And I’ve also been a part of projects that failed because at least one perspective was missing.

What do you think? Does this matrix work for you?

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