guild craft knowledge

Steven Noels says something key in the midst of many other interesting things on his blog.

“My recurring argument is that Free Software should be more than just using LAMP, it should be based on the willingness to invest more into employees instead of external suppliers.”

Open source is about shifting ownership around in the supply chain. It is about putting some of the ownership into the hands of the people that do the work. This is analagous to the way that professional societies sometimes write standards. It’s analagous to the craft knowledge of a guild. It is hard for firms to grapple with since they find it much easier to think of the world thru the simple dialectic of buyers and sellers. Adding a third element into the mix – the craftsmen – makes things a lot more complex to think about.

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