OS3G - Open Source, 3rd Generation

A (humble) attempt to publish news from the trenches where Free/Libre/Open-Source Software is brought to the mainstream -- and Francois Letellier's blog, too

Monday, March 20, 2006

So What's an "Initiative" Anyway?

ObjectWeb lately came up with several "initiatives", namely the ESB initiative, RFID initiative and ONESSI.

The existing open-source communities address technological issues in a very efficient fashion. But they leave companies alone when it comes to complementing software with all that takes to make a product: positioning, packaging, customization, training, professional services, communication, quality assurance, certification of compliance with standards, etc.

ObjectWeb came up with the concept of open source “initiative” to address these shortcomings and bridge the gap between open source projects and enterprise users.

An initiative is not an open source project. An open source initiative is a collaborative program undertaken by industry stakeholders to promote a set of technologies and bring them to the mainstream. The goal of an initiative is to federate complementary projects through the involvement of several partners from industry and research communities, so as to initiate and perpetuate innovation and business opportunities.

So. Initiatives are proactive attempts to strenghten an ecosystem through a collective strategy. They are akin to collective strategies (or better said, ObjectWeb in its entierity may be seen as a collective strategy instanciated through initiatives as a matchmaking tool). I would put initiatives in the class of "organic collectives" (see Astley, W. Graham, Fombrun, Charles J. (1983), 'Collective Strategy: Social Ecology of Organizational Environments', The Academy of Management Review)


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