Category Archives: Random thoughts

A space to voice thoughts and doubts

The Share Economy is Dead, Long Live to the Share Economy!

Airbnb, Uber and many other centralized sharing approaches are collecting big money from investors and opening every day new markets. The problem with ‘Sharing Central‘ is that there are business reasons to hide negative feedback, put strong ID system in place, push people to write comments using quid pro quo strategies and more.

Sharing Central is not evil per sé, but its main focus isn’t to provide end-users with full access to knowledge and reduce asymmetry of information. Goal is to maximize returns. And this happens also in other social media, as seen with Twitter’s recent “mistakes” for example.

Ad-free social media like Ello are hitting the news, but how long they’ll stay ad-free?

The so-called “shared economy” is just replacing the existing and often inefficient and/or ineffective intermediaries, with a new set of powerful intermediaries. While the companies backing all the share-central initiatives are somehow failing to see their true social potential, they introduced many people to the collaborative economy.

Will these new intermediaries harder to disrupt? Maybe, or maybe not.

The Bitcoin revolution and its role in the Share Economy.

The Blockchain‘s biggest promise is still yet to be fulfilled, but it will soon allow us to share knowledge in a trust-less network removing or replacing the middle-man and his desire for control.

Let’s discuss briefly some possibilities:

1) P2P Purchasing Groups. People interested in a product or service category might collectively buy something. There are actually few ways to get this done:

2) P2P Direct Selling. The blockchain would make easier for potential buyers to check out sellers’ honesty and products’ pros and cons. Sales’ traceability would make possible to implement either single or multi-level marketing approaches in a error-prone fashion.

3) P2P Word of Mouth. Manufacturers and Service providers could engage with their customers and get them to talk about their products by incentivizing advocacy with gift cards, discounts and prize. Basically doing that Puma has been doing with its employee.

I’ll be covering this topic more and more consistently, bringing examples of how Bitcoin (the protocol) can change the digital world in unexpected and unpredictable ways.

Printing with Ubuntu and Why Microsoft Will Never Be Obsoleted

Windows Ubuntu

Recently my Olivetti Olibook S1300 – a gift of Salvo Mizzi, of the Working Capital fame – died. I decided it was great time to face the experience of making my Acer Aspire one printing. While below you’ll find a detailed report about my journey to make possible to print via Linux with a Canon LBP 810, first I wish to share my thoughts about what all this means. Continue reading

The Open Source Road Ahead – About Put an End to Vendor Lock-in

OSI logoFew days after my blog post about OSI’s possible future,  OSI wrote a second statement on the CPTN transaction, somehow reaffirming my concerns about a maybe too narrowed view on software patents. Now that even Groaklaw gave up with software patents  - rightly in my opinion – leaving it to IT giants and patent-trolls, will OSI fight software patents as a whole?

While waiting to understand how OSI will behave in this respect, we might move on other topics, like how OSI could fulfill its mission.

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OSI: The Open Source Road Ahead

Having been interviewed recently, among other topics, about my take on how FSF and OSI might rethinking their roles in the next future, I want to share some thoughts around how OSI could move in the years to come.

OSI logoChanging OSI is now possible, and I am personally taking the chance by joining the OSI Governance working group, chaired by Simon Phipps. While the  future governance of the OSI is still under discussion, here I’d like to throw some ideas around on what OSI could do about things like raising funds, software patents and “Open Core”.

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The Open Source Year Ahead

I have been rarely playing the prediction game in the past, but now that Red Hat finally seems to fulfill my old predictionsalso in the cloud – it is time to join Bob Sutor and others to play again.

google insight: open vs cloud

Open Source and the Cloud.

Open source is now the maturity phase, and it is interesting to look at how compares open source and cloud computing (courtesy of Google Insight for search).

But the open source world is not so small, looking at the same graph for different European countries makes a difference. While France looks at the cloud as much as North-Americans do, other countries (like Italy) are lagging behind (see also EC2 statistics).

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Commercial Open Source Blog: Yet Another Year Older

Commercial Open Source blog is yet another year older, and it is time to zoom back once more and look at things happened during the fourth year of its live.

SOS Open Source has been my primary focus over the last year. I have been using  my methodology to help customers, make available reports for vendors and also to qualify and select open source e-commerce applications. Stay tuned for more reports, the very next will be around open source monitoring.

Conferencing. Over the last year I have been keynoting at Novell and Red Hat events, organizing a series of events around open source for IBM (more to come), chairing the Analysts session at OWF, as well as giving speeches and managing round-tables discussions at cloud computing events.

EU-funded open source projectsHaving been invited by the EU to bring my perspective around EU-funded open source projects’ sustainability, I started to share tips and hints about online dissemination. Of course I didn’t stop to look at existing projects, and I look forward to share more findings about some of them.

Last but not least I wish to thank my webmaster Matteo Ionescu for his great job.

The Open Source Innovation Backbone for Startups

Open innovation is taking over in many areas, and open source plays an important role especially in software sequential innovation, where each successive invention builds in an essential way on its predecessors. Foremost, for the most of us before anything else software (open source included) is a tool towards a goal.

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Open Source Business Strategy: Feedback on the Beekeeper Model Revisited

James DixonPentaho Chief Technology Officer – about two years ago wrote the “Beekeeper model“, telling the word about how open source firms writing the majority of the code make business.

Now James released the first draft of the new version asking for comments, and I am glad to give him some feedback again.

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