Open Source Articles
Open source is considered an exemplar of the ‘private-collective’ model of innovation,1 a compound model with elements from both the private investment & the collective action models.
This model was an attempt to rationalise and reason about the existence of the open source software industry, and answer the question: “why would thousands of top-notch programmers contribute, without apparent material incentives, to the provision of a public good?”.2
This essay revisits the assumptions of the private-collective model, in the cloud-compute era, to understand the surgent phenomena of the open core revenue model in the commercial open source software industry. This is of particular significance in view of the perceived siege of the open source model by cloud vendors.3.. Read More
1/ The recent announcement of @github sponsors (https://t.co/OjxZU1t6UT) is an interesting development in OSS. I feel it is a great time to revisit my essay on the questions facing open-source software: https://t.co/UgK40taf9R #GitHubSponsors 1/N— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) May 23, 2019
Q.1: Can we make the open-source movement self-sustaining? Open source survives on philanthropy: the altruism of the initiator of an open source project, the unpaid labour of the maintainer, and the monetary donations to foundations. Is there an alternative, self-sustaining way?— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) May 23, 2019
Github Sponsors could, prima facie, remove the reliance of OSS projects on foundations. It would continue to be based on philanthropy. Of the sponsors. Is that an improvement over the present? I am not sure.— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) May 23, 2019
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Q.2:— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) May 23, 2019
a) Can we pay back for the effort of the maintainer and the individual contributor?
b) Can we provide economic incentives to the maintainers and contributors to help continued development?
c) How do we assign value to an open source project & contribution?
I believe an important caveat exists to this postulate: the physical capital necessary for the production & innovation of the resource should have low-cost access & wide distribution. I will try & explore this caveat a bit. https://t.co/p57V70PiCr— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 20, 2018
I will use the case of the Pharmaceutical industry. Modern drug discovery is a patent-heavy process, which should make it a ripe candidate for open source disruption. But this has not been the case, yet.— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 20, 2018
My argument for why this is so is the concentrated nature of the physical asset (lab infrastructure, capital for clinical trials) needed for innovation in drug discovery - it is limited to large pharmaceutical firms and some university departments.— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 20, 2018
The concentrated nature of the physical asset ensures the opportunity cost of losing out on innovation that could have been garnered by the resource as a commons, is very low. This, in turn, reduces the effective implementation cost of property for the resource. Hence, patents!— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 20, 2018
@asynchio postulates that every patent-heavy industry will be dis-intermediated by open source. A thread on why this prediction could turn out to be true. 1/N— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 19, 2018
Demsetz' Theory on Property Rights models the emergence of property around a resource as a function of the cost of implementing & enforcing property rights.— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 19, 2018
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A resource, managed as property, could evolve into commons when the implementation cost of property rights exceeds the value of the increase in the efficiency of utilisation of the resource caused by adoption of property rights.— Sujith Jay Nair (@suj1th) October 19, 2018