Community development: from gift culture to “stealing” hackers

Open Source firms relying upon a symbiotic approach try to co-develope with communities, and firm management usually is directly involved in community development:the symbiotic approach is mostly focused on identifying the realization of mutual benefits either for the firm and the community.
A firm adopting the symbiotic approach might partecipate to a project contributing with software internally developed, or providing an infrastructure that facilitates collaboration and stimulating interaction.
Community members have no formal connection to the firm and they disregard firm’s goals if they are not in line with those of the community, therefore the firm has to pay attention to keep volunteers working.

Mark Shuttleworth has recently posted on his blog an invitation to OpenSuse developers to join the Ubuntu community, concluding that

if you have an interest in being part of a vibrant community that cares about keeping free software widely available and protecting the rights of people to get it free of charge, free to modify, free of murky encumbrances and “undisclosed balance sheet liabilities”, then please do join us.

Will OpenSuse developers join Ubuntu?
As a matter of fact the relationship between communities and firms tend to deteriorate as the firm become more commercial oriented, making collaboration a very delicate and important issue, above all for companies whose business models are based on “weak” intellectual property asset.

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