Naturally Open Source isn’t a good business model by the “Classic” way of looking at things - But if I may quote the article (Oh, and the article is 5 pages long, so it’ll take some time to read through);
In 2003, the method is proving to be as broadly effective - and, yes, as revolutionary - a means of production as the assembly line was a century ago.
This quote merely states the article’s intent - To show that Open Source can indeed be effective when applied in the correct way.
If the ideas behind it are so familiar and simple, why has open source only now become such a powerful force? Two reasons: the rise of the Internet and the excesses of intellectual property.
How it’s even possible; The thoughts about Open Source has been around since the days of Isaac Newton, but it’s only since we got the Internet that these ideas has been able to really take off. Something that Linux, Apache and other software projects are real world proofs of.
We are at a convergent moment, when a philosophy, a strategy, and a technology have aligned to unleash great innovation. Open source is powerful because it’s an alternative to the status quo, another way to produce things or solve problems. And in many cases, it’s a better way. Better because current methods are not fast enough, not ambitious enough, or don’t take advantage of our collective creative potential.
Why Open Source is so powerful; I think the quote speaks for itself.
[b]Corporations have been part of the problem for Jefferson, but they’re also part of the solution. Open source offers biotech companies a cheaper way to do research. “The corporations have been locked in a zero-sum game,” Jefferson says. “It costs them a fortune to buy and lock up a product or a technology. And if they don’t, a competitor will get it and they’ll have no access to it. So it’s a real change in the status quo we’re proposing. We’re reducing the obstacles for everybody so big companies won’t view this as antithetical to their own progress.”
Jefferson is onto something. Open source is often framed as an attack on the corporate world at large. But in fact, the open source approach can be a boon for companies. Licensing from a trusted collaborative project saves money and leaves the technology open to further development. By showing corporations that a closed, defensive approach to intellectual property can be less efficient than liberal licensing, Cambia and a few other open source efforts are leading the way to the mainstream.[/b]
A long quote, but it certainly shows why corporations would even want to consider this; It saves them money and becomes a win-win situation for everyone.
Of course, Open Source isn’t great for everything; there are places where it’s better to stick with traditional methods. But I dare to say that in fields such as Science, using Open Source practices makes sense, and gives benefits for everyone. Companies doesn’t have to spend billions on research and patents, and in return will get feedback and other, perhaps better/more sophisticated solutions handed to them - for free. Researchers benefit, because they can build on the collaborative work of others. But most important of all, everyone else benefits because they’ll get solutions way faster than if we stick by the current method. We’re talking billions of dollars saved here which can be crammed into some other area, like production or distribution, which means more people gets the product faster and to a lower cost.
It is, simply put, win-win for everyone. Seen? =)