Linking Ideas & Innovation

Archive for April, 2012

Open Source Nurtures Innovation

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Software innovation is made more manageable and less expensive in an open source environment. The point of open source is to offer software which is cheaper, dependable, and of superior quality. This software is often free and available for anyone’s use.

The Benefit
In an open source environment, all may benefit from the program a programmer creates or improves. Programmers are also given the ability to work on several projects at once. The open source community can be a great entry in the venture capital world and widen the possibility landing a super OS job. Many of these nuances keep the open source boat afloat.

Sustainability is a shared responsibility in an open source setting. A programmer is no long solely responsible for the maintaining their innovations, but others can contribute through shared codes. This frees them up to crank out more innovations. An open source environment is an amazing starting point for innovators.

Now the preverbal need to re-create the core is eliminated. Open sources makes innovation easier. An additional benefit is the innovators ability to work alongside other innovators and his or her varying vantage point and worldwide view.

Innovation is global, multidisciplinary and open; therefore the need to bring different minds and different perspectives together to discover new solutions to long-standing problems is immense. Therein lies the essence of collaborative innovation.

In the words of Thomas Goetz:

Software is just the beginning … open source is doing for mass innovation what the assembly line did for mass production. Get ready for the era when collaboration replaces the corporation.

The Power
So what makes open source so powerful?

Goetz gives two reasons: the rise of the Internet and the excesses of intellectual property. The Internet is open source’s great enabler, the communications tool that makes massive decentralized projects possible. Intellectual property, on the other hand, is open source’s nemesis: a legal regime that has become so stifling and restrictive that thousands of free-thinking programmers, scientists, designers, engineers, and scholars are desperate to find new ways to create.

Freed from the need to re-invent the core, they are able to devise the new more easily, of course. But just as they are no longer responsible for all 100% of the sustaining, they are also able to work alongside other innovators and to benefit from their differing view of the world, bringing new richness.

The Myth
The notions that open source is not innovative and only a means to avoid license costs are now busted. A software innovation trail is being swiftly blazed by the open source revolution. Industry leaders such as Apple and Microsoft are using it build the world.


William Garner, M.D., MPH – CEO of Urigen, N.A., Inc.

"The iBridge Network provides an important additional pathway for entrepreneurs to access university innovations that may otherwise have been lost.  read more...