Open Source Offering: Facts, Fear and Affirmative Action

“Open Source Offering in Italy: an Analysis of an evolving Sector” conference follow-up are addressed by Stefano Micelli on first draft blog. Stefano brings me in because of something I said at the conference, commenting a research finding saying that small firms tend not to partner with other firms.

Affirmative action is needed to enable “lucrative coopetition“, in order to reduce R&D costs and foster innovation?

The Observatory of European SMEs explains that small firms have a short-term perspective and expect quick and concrete results. Success factors for the networking among high-tech SMEs are the presence/lack of a coordinator, either a larger leading firm or an agency.

Italian Hi-Tech SMEs show little interest in cooperation, while companies based in Finland show a strong attitude to co-operating, at all levels (suppliers, customers, universities and government or public research institutes). People are not the same wherever you go, and as a matter of fact the Finnish open source ecosystem is pretty solid.

Large system integrators are still reluctant to build business strategies based on open source. Reason is that is hard and resource-consuming to proactively co-create open source value, and there is little evidence that customers are aware of the importance of co-creation.

The open source collaboration gap or the open source mediation conundrum are two sides of the same coin. We need a more efficient open source market, and public administrations, either local or central, can develop appropriate open source governance policies to make it.  Just as seen in USA with projects like TriSano or VistA, sharing the cost of production of new public good.