Home Assignment Summary for Peer production and Open source


Open source software and the “private-collective” innovation model: Issues for organization science discusses the characteristic of open source and give arguments on what exactly encourages people to contribute on the nonmonetary subjects. I find this article useful to know the most basic part of open source, but I think this article also lacks in discussion concerning the government’s influence in terms of regulation on open source behaviors and protection on the products.

The oh-so-practical magic of open-source innovation is an interview with Marten Mickos, founder of MySQL. The genuine answers from Mickos give me an insight into open source software. People making contributions in the open source community is out of personal reasons, so various ways of rewarding their efforts should be implemented in order to sustain and improve their contribution. The interview also shows the importance of interaction within the open source community.

Group size and incentives to contribute: A natural experiment at Chinese Wikipedia reveals the positive relationship between group size and people’s contribution, and also emphasizes social effect’s influence on people’s contribution. The study is rigorous with improved method applied into the data they analyzed. But there’re limitations in the study which might be improved by further and more detailed studies.

One extra article points out the problems and limitations of open source, which are not covered in this weeks assigned articles. This article show doubts on whether the open source method really provide a faster environment for the best solution, along with concerns on the bureaucracy and conflicts among developers. Open source is not suitable for everything and people should know that it is not flawless.

The other article I found is focus on the future of open source, and the author brings about the idea that open source will have a better future if it starts to improve the user experience.

One mini case I found  is WalmartLabs, the retailer’s implementation of open source in order to get quicker and more accurate data. It’s a good combination of open source and retailing, but I think the weakness is that potential competitor might also make use of the information and thus threats Walmart.

The other one is a Chinese open source platform of knowledge called Zhihu resembling Quora in western website but I’m more familiar with Zhihu. It’s a platform where people can find answers for anything from different aspects. But I concern that for those less popular questions the answer’s quality might not be guaranteed.

  • Hippel, E. V., & Krogh, G. V. (2003). Open source software and the “private-collective” innovation model: Issues for organization science.Organization science14(2), 209-223.
  • Hyatt, J., & Mickos, M. (2008). The oh-so-practical magic of open-source innovation.
  • Zhang, X. M., & Zhu, F. (2010). Group size and incentives to contribute: A natural experiment at Chinese Wikipedia.American Economic Review, Forthcoming, 07-22.
  • Bezroukov, N. (1999). Open source software development as a special type of academic research: Critique of vulgar Raymondism.First Monday4(10).
  • The future of open source is a better user experience
  • Why Wal-Mart’s E-Commerce Group Embraces Open Source
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