Building the Open Enterprise

February 1, 2010
by Ted Shelton

In talking about the Mozilla foundation and their competition with Microsoft to define the future of the web Zak Greant likes to say there is one simple axiom: externalities win.

This is an elegant way to boil down 20 years of hard won lessons from the software industry’s experience with the disruptive phenomenon called open source. To further quote Zak on how Mozilla has competed effectively against Microsoft:

The effect of this externality was to make it so that there were suddenly hundreds of organizations who cared deeply about about the technology stack, who spread the technology stack and who work to contribute small (and large) pieces to it.

Open source was the way in which Mozilla could embrace a community of individuals and organizations who shared a common interest in keeping the web from being dominated or controlled by Microsoft.

Building the open enterprise is about how we help companies take these lessons across all of their business processes — open communications, open data, open design, open innovation, open management, open research, and open support.

The most important thing for companies to learn is to be open. Open-First.

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