by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 24th 2008 11:12pm
The Slashdot crowd is reasonably up in arms of a paper jointly written by a Harvard Business School professor and a Stanford Graduate School of Business professor on ways to compete with open source competitors. Amusingly, nowhere in the paper does it suggest that one of those strategies might be to go open source yourself, embracing the actual benefits of openness and infinite goods, and focusing on better business models involving scarce goods. In fact, it doesn't even seem like the paper recognizes the rather large businesses created around open source software, with the totally false implication being that open source isn't a business, but a hobby. Frankly, the whole thing gives MBAs a bad name, by suggesting that they're not being taught to actually understand how open source can be used within a business model. That's unfortunate, because it's simply not true -- at least at some schools. Much of my own journey down the path in exploring the economics of infinite goods started thanks to my own MBA professor Alan McAdams at Cornell, who was teaching how important open source models were to the success of the internet and businesses back when I first took his class in 1996 or 1997.
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