What IBM Learned from Linux

IBM learned one major lesson from Linux development: You can’t control Linux. (Courtesy: CIO Update). Among others, IBM learned the following lessons and are potentially valuable to Linux outsiders who are thinking of joining the Linux community.

  • Linux development isn’t a chaotic process
  • Joining the Linux community as a participant in a broader ecosystem is a key lesson for IBM
  • Scratch your own itch
  • It’s the end result that matters in Linux, and not who runs a project or starts a particular effort
  • “It’s easy to form a community around yourself,” said Dan Frye (vice president of open system development at IBM).  “It’s much harder and more valuable to participate in a community that you do not control — it took us time to learn that.”

In a nutshell, the Linux community is an ecosystem. You can’t control the ecosystem. For companies, it’s the survival of the fittest. For individuals, well let’s just say it’s fun.

Passion. Freedom. Flexibility. That’s what it’s all about.

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