Monday, January 18, 2010

Matt and I agree on the Big G

After I posted last week about Google’s half-full glass openness, my friend Matt Asay tweeted a plug for my column by quoting the punchline:

"Google is a self-interested, profit-maximizing, semi-proprietary co that embraces openness when it suits its purposes"
Thanks to Matt and his 4,841 followers, that may be one of the most quoted things I ever say in my life.

But Matt was too modest to mention his own very similar thoughts on the subject last month on his Open Road blog. I missed the Dec 22 posting because of the hectic pace at the end of the semester and a few days before Xmas.

The title alone told me that we are on the same page: “Google--not necessarily 'more open than thou'.” He was keying off a self-interested (and self-serving) post by Google SVP Jonathan Rosenberg that defends its right to unilaterally choose what parts of its solutions are open and closed. To which Matt deliciously responded:
Am I the only one that just had Napoleon of "Animal Farm" flash through their minds while reading that statement? Some animals are more equal than others, and some companies know better than others when to keep code closed.
He also quotes a Gartner analyst as saying
The art of business in the 21st century is figuring out how to open up your suppliers' and competitors' business while keeping yours tightly sealed. And in that endeavor Google has proven highly successful.
A few excerpts can’t do the article justice, so I recommend the entire post to anyone interested in open (or semi-open) IT strategies.

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