Some notes on the open source session hosted by Matt Westervelt, Asa Dotzler (Mozilla), Scott Collins, and Matt Mullenweg (WordPress):
- Asa: “Open source is changing things, and open source itself is changing.”
- Asa seems to think that we’re starting to see open source projects be chosen on quality rather than simply because it is open source or free.
- SpreadFirefox is an example of handing over control of the brand and marketing to the product’s users who are generally more honest and passionate about the product. Scott points out that Firefox is something of an anomaly, there is no plan to enable the same effect with other products. According to Asa, it comes down to the testimonials.
- Matt M. explains that WordPress is a great example of a community driven project, because it is improved by the people using it, resulting in a much better end product. Instead of developer driven development, you have user driven development.
- The ad that ran in the New York Times for Firefox didn’t really create a download spike itself, but the associated media articles that covered the event sure did, according to Asa.
- Scott makes a good point, IMO, Firefox had a really great head start to becoming successful, something that other open source projects can’t match: it exists in a market that was dominated by a single product so consumers were eager for something new, it was incubated by a company with financial backing and a team of programmers to ensure it reached the “it works great” level before being cut loose, and it is a product that people use everyday.
And that’s all I got from the session because after that last point I went to ride David Geller‘s Segway. More on that later!