Wednesday, October 22

Oopsla 2008: Comunity-Based Innovation: from Sports Equipment to Software

This presentation was given by Sonali Shah of University of Washington Business School. The speaker shared many of her research findings and insights into how community-based innovation is reshaping the business world today from sports equipment industry to cloth design and manufacturing to software. One really interesting point raised by this research as a by-product was that it found the most committed and innovative long-term open source developers all have a full time day-job but found their day-job is either not challenge enough or too restritive or both for them to innovate therefore they would rather spend their spare time to work on something else. At this age of uncertainty when many economists predict that the only way for North America to maintain the competitive edge is innovation, its puzzling to see that many of the companies out there fail to recognize that.

See Clay Shirky's excellent presentation at TED from a different angle on this topic, and my post "What can we learn from the Open Source community" in 2006 on how I think the companies can harvest this kind of passion and innovation.

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