Open always wins?
"Open" is one of my tribe's worship words
. It is a word that is beyond criticism, analysis or critique except from professional troll
So what does it mean when people say "open always wins?" It means that because TCP/IP, HTML and Apache won then open systems, open standards
and open source will always win given a long enough timeline. If the open solution isn't winning yet then we just have to wait.
I disagree. Mere openness isn't enough. Just because your product or service is open doesn't mean it's destined to win. Plenty of open solutions have 'lost' but we tiptoe past that particular graveyard
. We either pretend that we don't remember its denizens or that they're merely sleeping.
Whilst I have a religious belief in openness and standards I can see the difference between what I want to be true ("open always wins" and "next year will the year of Linux on the desktop") and what is actually true. I want open systems to win but I'm also aware that this isn't guaranteed.
In fact when open solutions win it's because they:
- have superior User Experience
- have superior Developer Experience
- give each user/developer/company more value than the equivalent closed solution
- create a larger (and thus more valuable) market/network than the equivalent closed solution
- co-opted the existing closed solutions
- do something that no closed solution can match
- commodify existing closed solutions thus rendering them unprofitable
I'm always surprised by the number of people who believe that openness is a sufficient condition for success. I'd even go so far as to
suggest that if the only quality a solution has is its openness then that's a good indicator it's going to fail.
Syndicated 2013-04-08 19:09:00 (Updated 2013-09-18 09:45:12) from Ade Oshineye