January 2014 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the January 2014 issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review in which we follow our tradition of devoting the first issue of the year to the theme of Open Source Business.

In the first article, Michael “Monty” Widenius, the founder and original developer of MySQL and MariaDB, and Linus Nyman, a doctoral student at the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland, present an overview of the business side of open source software. Although much is now known about the business of open source, there are surprisingly few resources that provide a starting point for further understanding. This introductory article focuses on the motivations for businesses; common open source licenses and how they relate to community and corporate interests; issues regarding the monetization of an open source program; and open source business models. A detailed list of recommended reading is provided for those readers who wish to explore these topics in greater depth.

Next, Juho Lindman and Linus Nyman from the Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland, compare open data and open source from a business perspective. After describing the key characteristics of open data and open source, they examine the differences and similarities between the two phenomenon with regards to licensing, commercial aspects, and relevant actors. The article concludes with practical insights for managers and entrepreneurs who are evaluating business models based on open data.

In the third article, Derek Smith, Asrar Alshaikh, Rawan Bojan, Anish Kak, and Mohammad Mehdi Gharaei Manesh from the Technology Innovation Management program at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, examine the collaboration barriers faced by different groups of actors in an open source ecosystem. Based on a review of relevant literature, the authors identify the barriers that are common to all actors and the barriers that are unique to governance actors, competitors, complementors, and the core community. The article concludes with six recommendations for entrepreneurs and managers to overcome both types of barriers to collaboration in an open source ecosystem.

Finally, this issue also includes a report on a recent TIM Lecture on "The Business of Open Source", which was presented by Michael Weiss, Associate Professor in the Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program at Carleton University.

In February, we will publish articles selected from the International Seeking Solutions Summit, which was held on November 5th, 2013 in Quebec City, Canada. See our March 2013 issue for details of the Seeking Solutions approach to local open innovation.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the TIM Review and will share your comments online. Please contact us with article topics and submissions, suggestions for future themes, and any other feedback.

Chris McPhee

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Keywords: business models, collaboration, ecosystems, licensing, open data, open source business, open source software, patterns