Monday, June 20, 2005

Open Source is a Business Process

Free software is highly visible, but it is in fact only one example of a much broader social-economic phenomenon. Yochai Benkler suggests that what we are seeing is the broad and deep emergence of a new, third mode of production in the digitally networked environment. He calls this mode "commons-based peer-production," to distinguish it from the property- and contract-based models of firms and markets. Its central characteristic is that groups of individuals successfully collaborate on large-scale projects following a diverse cluster of motivational drives and social signals, rather than either market prices or managerial commands.

Recommended to me by Simon Phipps.