In a couple of weeks I will participate in a roundtable on the next edition of the LinuxWorld which will be held in New York, NY. This time the event is dubbed Open Solutions Linux.The rountable will be the official presentation of the Open Solutions A…
Last Friday I had the pleasure to participate in a roundtable to discuss about “Ideas, Enterprises and Open Knowledge”. The roundtable was part of the Powerful Ideas Summit (see my previous post).
A number of powerful ideas (honoring the name of the event) were put forward, but I would like to single out here one of the thesis of John Perry Barlow (a real character and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation) about the benefits of sharing.
He talked about the dynamics of intellectual property as opposed to physical property, and highlighted an interesting difference. Whereas with physical goods, its value increases with the scarcity, with intellectual property exactly the opposite happens. The value of an idea increases with its diffusion. Obviously there are many businesses based on owning ideas (call it licenses, patents or copyrights). And very profitable businesses indeed: software and pharmaceutical companies among them. However, these businesses are still successful because their ideas have reached a wide dissemination: Windows and Office for Microsoft or Aspirin for Bayer to name a couple of examples
In my keynote, titled “Building Global Open Source Enterprises” I also presented a similar argument: “Sharing your assets, strengthens your business”. This is a counterintuitive argument to many, but I can tell you that every day I see more tangible evidence that the statement is true. What other, more powerful, mechanisms exist to spread an idea than freely sharing it (with the help of the Internet, I might add)?
For me, being an entrepreneur who is trying to build a successful business following this concept, the beauty of it is that sharing is not an attitude easily replicated by your competitors. Many businessmen are not prepared (or even afraid) to embrace this concept, or they don’t know how to do it (Should I share all or just a part of my knowledge? What tools should I use to ensure that sharing is an activity that works both ways in and out of the company?)
Next Friday 26th I have been invited to participate on the Powerful Ideas Summit. The event has been beautifuly organized under the direction of Adolfo Plasencia by the University and Science Department of the Generalitat Valenciana and the Valencian Institute of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (IMPIVA).
The objectives of the summit are the following:
This Meeting has as a main objective to be a meeting point for sharing different visions, expertise, best practices, ways to see and do things differently in the world, joined by a common interest that cannot be given for granted: that of imaginative creative intelligence that boosts business creation, and which will be the shearest measure of its liveliness and high standard on a long and short term basis, as well as one of the most significant data for its future configuration.
In a keynote speech I will talk about Openbravo’s experience delivering an open source application to small and midsize enterprises worldwide. Later I will also join a very promising round table to discuss about open source business models with:
– John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
– Juan Tomas García, blogger and MonoLabs founder and CEO
– Alfredo Romeo, Blobject.es founder and CEO
– Julio Yuste Tosina, Vivernet managing director and creator of LinexEmpresas
– Juan Reig, President of the Malaga’s Open Source World Conference
There are also a number of high profile participants, who will account for a very interesting gathering of ideas. I really look forward to positive energy that this type of events generate. I will keep you posted with my conclusions.