Peer production and Open source (Homework assignment)


The oh-so-practical magic of open-source innovation: This article is an interview with Marten Mickos, the chief of MySQL. The article shows a new kind of perspective why higher management use open source and what they think about it. However, I also think that the answers where biased, as he is the chief. Therefore, his own opinion and experience could differ from what he said in the interview.

Group size and incentives to contribute: a natural experiment at Chinese Wikipedia: This article discusses the positive relationship between group size and individual’s contribution level. Thus, if the group size increases, the level of contribution will also increase. Overall, I thought that this article was well written and easy to understand with good insights.

Open source software and the ”private-collective” innovation model: Issues for organization science: This article discusses the different models of innovation, private investment model and collective action model, and also discusses the reasons why people  participate in open source software projects. This article explained the concepts well, which made it easier for people who are not knowledgeable in this topic.

The two articles that I found related to this topics discusses the disadvantages of using open source, as there was a lack of discussion for this part. The first articles was written by Kramer, L. (2006) and he talks about the disadvantages of having costs for maintenance services and the possibility of misusing intellectual property. The second article was written by Quittner, J. (2012) and he talks about disadvantages, such as accountability (which was mostly a big issue in the past) and licensing problems.

The two mini-cases examples that I used are Mozilla Firefox and Pale Moon. Both of them are open source web browsers and Pale Moon, which was created by a Dutch developer, is a fork of Mozilla Firefox. I chose these two examples in order to compare them to each other. In conclusion, Pale Moon is a faster web browser, as it removed a lot of features of Mozilla Firefox and Pale Moon uses another search engine by default (DuckDuckGo). This search engines allows people to search without it being saved. Mozilla Firefox is more known amongst people and therefore, they perceive Firefox as more trustworthy.

  • Hyatt, J. (2008). The oh-so-practical magic of open-source innovation. MIT Sloan Management Review 50(1) 15-19.
  • Von Hippel, E., and von Krogh, G. 2003. Open source software and the “private-collective” innovation model: Issues for organization science. Organization Science 14(2) 209-223.
  • Zhang, M. and Zhu, F. (2011). Group size and incentives to contribute: A natural experiment at Chinese Wikipedia. American Economic Review 101(4) 1601-1615.
  • Kramer, L. (2006). The Dark side of open source. Wall Street & Technology, 43-44. Available at http://search.proquest.com/docview/206606829?accountid=13598 [Accessed on 14 Oct. 2015]
  • Quittner, J. (2012). The risks & rewards of open source software. Credit Union Journal, 16(28), 14. Available at http://search.proquest.com/docview/1025741471?accountid=13598 [Accessed on 15 Oct. 2015]
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