Jonathan Schwartz on the Age of Participation

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The CEO of SUN on the Age of Participation.


"The free and open source software movement is moving, rapidly. The open sourcing of Solaris has added lent enormous weight to this community based development culture. The community behind free and open source software is changing the very landscape of software development and moving the value away from traditional delivery of a piece of software. What is making such communities very successful? What obstacles do they face? And what should we all be doing to ensure continued success?

Jonathan Schwartz, President and COO, Sun Microsystems answers these questions and more in his keynote address at the OSB. Mr.Schwartz, one of the most high profile corporate bloggers around, goes back in time to show how standardization and access to communication has resulted in enormous all round economic growth. Starting with the standardization of canals and railroads dimensions to a standard voltage and plug form for electricity distribution he explains how industries have created new opportunities and moved on to deliver value in non-traditional ways.

He talks about how Thomas A. Edison, the inventor of the light bulb and holder of a few hundred patents, failed in trying to protect his Intellectual Property by trying to trash rivals and draws parallels to more recent efforts of companies which try to protect their IP and hypocritically participate in community development. You wouldn't expect Mr. Schwartz to defend FOSS in anything but the strongest terms and he delivers in a manner which will gladden the hearts of this increasingly visible community."