Monday, January 29, 2007

Open {Standards|Source|Innovation}

Note to non-CS types: the title is a representation in Backus-Naur form of the formulation: “open standards” or “open source” or “open innovation.”

Today I’m speaking at a NSF-sponsored conference at the National Academies in Washington, DC. (More on the conference later). Within the conference, I’m on a panel entitled “The Ecology and Design of ‘Open’.” Other than the opportunity to join with a top tier group of speakers, I accepted the invitation (despite the 7-hour trip to the right coast) as a way to force myself to start writing about something I’ve been mulling over for a while

My own presentation is entitled “Contrasting Firm Strategies for Open Standards, Open Source and Open Innovation.” As the title suggests, it provides the opportunity to synthesize the commonalities from a decade of research on standards, open source and open innovation. Today I focused on understanding how the firm’s desire for value capture conflicts with (or must be weighed against) the value creation created across a value network.

This is only my first cut at a topic I expect to be writing about for several years. I’d welcome any thoughts by readers, either as comments below or via e-mail.

PS: Within the same panel, Elliot Maxwell had an interesting talk on these same three topics; I hope to comment on his talk in a future posting.

[Joel speaking]
Photo courtesy Alan Wolf

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