« Leadership in a Time of Crisis | Main | Checks and Balances »

January 26, 2009


Chris Ward

It's good in general.

But how do we make sure that society says 'thankyou' to participative, creative citizens, rather than allowing of any possibility of blockage of distribution channels ?

I'm thinking, of course, of all the material at http://www.ibiblio.org/index.html ; Linux distributions, and loads of public stuff which is not software, including the story of Rosa Parkes and her eventual success at getting on the bus.

I think IBM's contribution was to withdraw OS/2 from marketing, and indicate that there was no IBM successor product.

The IBM recommendation which followed was seismic. Openness was unstoppable.

Olivier Clerc

By adopting Open Government and signing a memorandum on The Freedom on Information Act (FOIA), USA and President Obama is inventing a real new democracy definition empowered by technology.
I am sure it will revolutionized the 8 years of Obama presidency from now,
but will all those democratic benefits resist the next presidency?
Before applying this Open Government, did it run some prototype like or a test run in order to evaluate its implications on long term? I am very curious about the initiators of this project.
Is it just a policy or political media attitude with just a brand new communication behavior from government or a real deep implication within the government structure and its system.
You wrote: "For the last couple of months I have been a member of the Technology, Innovation & Government Reform (TIGR) transition policy group focusing on innovation and government."
How did you end your collaboration then? and why?
Do you plan to export or adapt the learnings of this leading experience abroad? Are you planning to reveal more about TIGR experience in order to learn from it?
Looking forward to know more about your experience.

Gilad Langer


Thank you for once again sharing your insight and work. As usual I find your posts inspiring and also re-assuring. I have been, for a long time, an advocate of transparency and openness as the fundamental mechanism required for growth and agility both in the technical systems that I work with and the organizational environments. It is inspiring to see that this approach is taken to the next level in government. I only hope that the current administration can weather all the political noise and mayhem and make this approach stick. That of course only time will tell, but I am optimistic.

There are many examples of the power of this approach and the one that I think is most prevailing is the Toyota Production System, or Lean Thinking as it is usually referred to. Even though many focus on the technicalities of the system, it is in fact the fundamental principles of transparency and openness that are the driving forces that make the system work providing unheard levels of motivation and participation from everybody in the organization.

I look forward to learning more and experiencing the change – I only wish that I could do more of the participation. Keep the posts coming I am already waiting for the next one.

- Gilad Langer


"one of the most innovative IT concepts that has emerged in the last few years is that of mashups. A mashup is a simple applications that that can be quickly developed and put into operation"

Whatta crock. Side effects? The term "openness" was quickly appropriated by the crowd to mean any content put together in a different aggregate form. As a result, the mechanical royalties system was quickly attacked as antithetical to openness. Openness is conflated with 'the wisdom of crowds' and then 'technical inevitabilities force cultural change'. What was the change? In the world of IP, mob rule. Private assets are seized by individuals with no rights to them to do as they will. The recording industry fought back with DRM and of course, it isn't working because the same mob decides that openness means they have the obligation to break the DRM protection.

At what point does the computer science industry take responsibility for the side effects of its work? Never. They can't be bothered. So say it with pride and tell your friends what a wonderful thing this openness is.

And prepare for war.

What war? A war between the content producers, not the amateurs but the top tier pros and the computer science industry. Prepare for every line of every application written by IBM to be opened by force. Prepare for every patent IBM owns to be widely ignored and the intellectual property to be slit open and emptied into the commons like a fish full of eggs.

And wherever government fails to properly protect it, prepare for the laughter, the cynicism, and finally, to be sent home in disgrace as the inability to acknowledge the realities of the business world and the human capacity for mob rule degrades social systems designed to ensure hard work is rewarded and private property is protected.

Glasnost devolved into a mafia state within a decade.

BTW: Mashups are a terrible way to build indemnified systems. If you don't know that, you haven't built a system in a very long time.

Chris Ward


I don't speak for IBM, but I do work there. And I'm not convinced which side of this coin IBM is on.

OS/2 saturated its market, and is no more. "There is no IBM successor product, IBM recommends that you look at Linux". And it is so; Linux is in the foundations of much that IBM sells, builds on, and sells branded services for nowadays. If you really want an OS/2, you can buy one from Serenity Systems or maybe there are some for sale on 'eBay'. But the market is small.

IBM donates by its choice a number of patents to 'the commons'; hoping (presumably) that someone ... anyone ... will take the ideas and develop them. Often there's not even a restriction that the exploiter is required to avoid competing with IBM.

IBM Lotus Symphony is branded private property, but its price is $0. Anyone can download it from the web site at http://symphony.lotus.com/ . It's not very good for sales of IBM Lotus SmartSuite, I'm sure, but it's happening anyway.

Is IBM attempting to compete effectively with some other business in the world ? If so, do you have any idea which one ? Is IBM winning the race, losing the race, or keeping abreast ?

So why ? As far as I can see, it has to do with the "Customers and Employees" thing that every business attempts to provide for. Of course IBM will sell to anyone who will buy. But what kind of entity is a typical customer, and what are they likely to want (for themselves and their clients) ?

And it's not only the corporations that develop stuff. Universities do it as an inevitable byproduct of the teaching process; and what makes you think that collaborating hobbyists, and schoolchildren, cannot come up with original work too ?

Surely we should all try.

shawn banks

the best president in history ....he is for the people

The comments to this entry are closed.