While OpenSource invites everyone to participate on the WealthGenerator? OpenSource, OpenBusiness goes one step further: It opens the Wealth generating System, that underlies business, to everyone (in principle :-). OpenBusiness is Business, where as much Business participation as possible is open to the public.
OpenBusiness is a culminating point of the trend towards the TransparentSociety by opening the CreateAndShareWealth process. See [SocialSynergy:OpenBusiness] for more context. The author initiated the following page in Meatball: working like a HoofSmith to stimulate the discussion and collaboration in the sense of an OpenBusinessWiki.
SamRose: Fridemar, I would like to engage this, and your recent activity and enthusiasm. But, I am afraid that I fail to understand the theory, the model, and the plans you propose here and on other related wiki pages. Perhaps you would be interested to break down what you are talking about in the following way?:
I propose that if you lay out what you hope to achieve in this way, using CommunityWiki:PlainTalk, that it will help others more easily engage it. Just some ideas.
FridemarPache: Sam, thank you for appreciating my efforts and your friendly signals to engage in further collaboration. Since yesterday I am exploring stuff being already discussed in the greater wiki-community, where you are engaged too. Your serious questions deserve a serious answer, I cannot give straight from the shoulder like:
ZbigniewLukasiak: I think I get the idea here - but still I don't know what is that cooperation that you are talking here about. I think the rules about cooperation really depend on what we want to do - so without giving some examples on that it all seems a bit vague and in the air here. (Meanwhile we have a first example, not there, when you wrote this text: WikiBankOpenNegotion?) I think where this OpenBusiness would be most beneficiary is in business that have problems with trust - being completely open can improve the situtation. So here are some more 'real world' examples where the idea of OpenBusiness can be applied:
Incidentally only the second example involves cooperation in some way.
FridemarPache: Hi Zbigniew, I am very glad, you joined the discussion. Your links and examples are valuable and inspiring. However the idea of the initial author of this page is much easier and more wiki-like. The idea doesn't need a bulky company and representatives. Be prepared to another shock: "Open Source programming in a way is already using this OpenBusiness idea". Yes or No? The author says: "No, it isn't". In case, you or some other peer can point to a counterexample, great! In this case all collaborating peers, working towards a SocialCommonWealth, have much less pioneering work to do. The idea, presented here, is much easier and more wiki-like. You know [SetiAtHome], the collaborative effort of Searching for Extra Terrestial Intelligence, by Web wide resource-sharing of millions of clients (CPU-time, Disk-, and Bandwidth), based on open source [BOINC]. They have been allowing and supporting to use this great [GridSoftware] for third party applications like [RosettaAtHome]. The developers and millions of end-users create an immense economic value, but they are principally a StayPoor community. If a new project has to be created from a running application using BOINC, it needs on average 3 month to migrate it and 5000 US$ for 3 FTE (full-time-employed) people. Idealistically impaired people have to look for sponsors for such a relatively low budget. Incredible. Our model works as follows: Make an interesting application, that creates revenue for a community, buy a domain name, that reflects the idea of the application in a nutshell. Offer peers the opportunity to buy similar domain names and the opportunity to work on all levels, from design, recruting, evangelizing, and so on. All activities are open. No [BackRoomDecision]s. This means working like a HoofSmith. The illustrate it, the author bought the new toplevel domains: StocksAtHome.*, letting them point to this page, and developing the concept there, inviting for peer-collaboration.
Are these pro and anti secrecy essays relevant?
FridemarPache: Dan, thank you for the links, which illustrate the tensions between open versus security- and "trade secrets" oriented players on the market. However one thing appears to be obvious, restating Lessig positively: Openness reduces the costs for digital goods and services drastically. As OpenBusiness players are in the same market, offering digital goods and services, the competion will increase accordingly. Do you allow WikiBlogging?
I'm wrapping my head around this one so correct me if there is a misstep;
The Goal is CreateAndShareWealth
So OpenBusiness involves;
I think there's a lot of positive things to be said for this idea. It seems risky, for all new ideas are and even regular businesses are risky in the best of times. I'm very curious to see where this heads. -- AaronPoeze
FridemarPache: Aaron, I'm happy that you scrutinize the topic, giving rise to ample elaboration, discussion and interactions on your suggested new Wikipages, inviting hopefully a lot of wikizens to participate. To start anyhow, I need clarification about your formulation: ".. but the openness would likely also make it more difficult to take advantage of the OpenBusiness" Do I understand it right, that you mean: ".. but the openness would likely also make it more difficult to take an unfair advantage of the OpenBusiness"? inserted emphasized part by myself.
AaronPoeze: Fridemar, thank you for your positive comments. Your request for clarification is important and opens up the line of understanding of what fair means in business. I left out the description of unfair for the simple reason that I am unsure whether it would be unfair or not. Now I am going to answer your valid point please let none misconstrue this and see it as an attack.
If the question was about what advantage means it could be something simple like knowing the value and worth of an employee or a deal compared to the opponent. It could be more complex such as a tender for a job needing 23 trucks and you are the only local company that has those 23 truck resources on hand. But I think this is more about seeing it as unfair.
The statement ".. but the openness would likely also make it more difficult to take an unfair advantage of the OpenBusiness" is from a particular (and commonly held in non-business circles) point of view where taking advantage means unfairness. However it is my understanding that business as practised generally does not make such distinctions. In business taking advantage of a customer (internal or external) as another business, a consumer customer or an employee is acceptable and the desired ends to fuel the prime directive for most business which is to CreateAndShareWealth with the owners only. Owners being specifically defined and often one person or the shareholders. Now I am not completely pro or anti on this idea but I am quite certain it is common business practice. Taking advantage in business is the method of competition which leads to well run businesses rising to the top. Think of any of the successful businesses of the world today and there is a large basis of taking advantage built in. Now how to interpret that as fair or unfair is a value judgement.
Businesses unskilled in taking advantage tend to die or be reduced in success (as measured by the prime directive) and this is a survival aspect which, on a most primitive basis, one could say it is quite fair for business to survive and therefore take advantage. So in many ways business works almost like evolution. In the 'dog eat dog' business world is it so easy to say business A which successfully took advantage of Business B is unfair when Business B was trying to do the very same thing? I am seeing here shadows of WorseIsBetter but I can't quite lucidly explain it because I don't have all the aspects clear.
This new idea of OpenBusiness shatters a lot of firmly held pillars of business. This pillar is one of them. That makes it risky but also a fantastic opportunity to move beyond the current thought patterns. From my point of view even if OpenBusiness does not get of the ground (this is not to say it is the expected result), some of the ideas probably will. This makes work on OpenBusiness a success either way.
If we take it these current business practices are unfair instead of acceptable how does OpenBusiness deal with the same issues current businesses do? Namely on competition, survival, strengthening, redefining success (with emphasis on Shared most probably)
FridemarPache: Aaron, thank you too for your contribution here. Currently my main focus is on creating use-cases for OpenBusiness, as suggested by SamRose. So I invite you heartily to extend the WikiTrail, named OpenBusiness by e.g. WikiPedia:OpenBusiness and any pages you find useful. This way we combine the practical approach with the more theoretical one. From knowing a bit the mentality of the initiator of FireTrail, I am encouraged and encourage you and other interested peers (who in turn encourage myself) to use this tool for practical examples: I think currently of SocialDomaining, as an ecomomic activity, that can be combined with CreativeCommons contributions (goods and services), that are offered for free, but are bound to owned domains to be sold later. Imagine similar domains, like WikiBank.de, WikiBank.us, WikiBank.xyz, where each domain is a localized instance of a more general one. Each such domain, can be owned or shared by CreativeCommons peers, to be fostered with open concepts, ideas, software, content, support and sold (later) for a good price to an investor. Building on that, there can be even more specialized or diversified or more general domains, connected and synergized with each other. CreativeCommons peers, who can see a selforganized payoff-mechanism, have naturally a higher interest to openly collaborate to get fruit on the table, (until some get captured by employing companies, because they signal too much knowledge, skills and awareness.) This approach may appear shocking, because in current times, high salaries are paid to persons, who may "know too much". A lot of unproductive work/money goes into protection and poker mechanisms as well. Imagine, that many of the 200 million kids (6 to 18 years) of the OlpcProject? can develop very valuable digital goods and services. It will be an awful lot of virtual competitors, empowered by OpenSocialCollaboration?, who look for a low entrance threshold into the market. The lowest entrance threshold in the Web is given by free goods and services. We all know that. -- FridemarPache
When you say 'use-cases' you include useful blocks of information relevant to OpenBusiness? I have found no working examples. Yes extending the trail is a good idea and now that I have done so and understand better how it works I invite others to contribute to the TrailFire process too.
I freely admit I don't fully understand SocialDomaining despite reading the information. I am correct to say this is not parked but points to a relevant social creation site like perhaps this one? What would the purchasing business be buying and why would it be valued? I'm thinking here of where are the viewers and the contributors going after the purchase. Perhaps some of this discussion needs to be in SocialDomaining not here.
Yes it does seem that some remuneration is associated with compensation for various agreements on control of knowledge and secrecy, although it's true reputation plays a role there as well. There is also the cost of the support structures like law, administration and the time it kills. A lot of time. Yes true, so the laptop goes beyond just the hardware and software and into the realm of enabling with the chance they may create their own wealth. I think you point out that very well. There are issues but they aren't insurmountable. Free is best there as long as it's functional and enabling. It's an exciting project with a lot of risk and benefit. The OLPC project seems to be keeling a bit [June 2008], now we see how well it evolves.
OpenBusiness has to compete with closed business. We could look at open source software to compare. Firefox is a great example of this because it has defeated one of the greatest challenges. The free (of charge) closed software Internet Explorer, which was already an acceptable browser and was a monopoly browser held by a monopoly. While many may have tried Firefox for the fact Microsoft was not liked by the individual it would not have stuck unless it was good. By surpassing this and being better the change wrought by a collection of free workers has been enormous. Lets consider how Firefox could have been an OpenBusiness? Perhaps then we might find a better idea of what works. Hmm let me jot this down;
What are the Firefox features that might apply to OpenBusiness?
What happens if we introduce business elements into this? Like money?
As a thought provoking challenge, imagine ExtremeOpenBusiness as a kind of reality-tv of some (young) actors who let them watch over their shoulders, while they are developing software, music, graphics, and offering their service in form of a transparent (but paid) SkypeCast? or something similar. They not only let them be watched, but they also ask questions, relevant to their transparent collaboration in public, and get answers in seconds worldwide: e.g. can somebody (with a high rated trust profile) copy or link a fast sort algorithm into our CVS (for the xyz language, that currently hasn't one in its Lib).
Watch how the trust rate modifies, according to the quality of the input. Watch how the flow of releases get donations on a public donation-account.
Watch public negotiations for addons-wanted. Watch the flow of incoming and outgoing money nearly realtime. You can imagine, how the sympathies of the "customers" of those "reality-tv" actors rise. Even better, lets plug ourself in into one of those (envisioned) myriad open processes, where you are an expert.
No need to hide the productive process. The "protection" is given by the increasing number of open processes and the accelerating complexity of products and services, that are needed. Look at the complexities of OpenSource Operating Systems. Although anything is open, most customers are better off to outsource the process of creating add-ons. This can be a complete OpenProcess.
I tell you, these courageous (young) people will make a difference in the economic landscape.
In my vision of OpenBusiness all the layers are open at least in a textual manner to the degree things can be documented without excessive time loss. Sorting this information well becomes crucial to the business and may be one of the workloads. So I am thinking the kind of social tools open source software uses to sort and document may be extremely helpful, especially once modified for its new purpose. Meatball covers other very useful tools of which annotation is one. But you point out the value of other recording rich video, audio and so on. All of these can be included. It becomes apparent it is the recent boom of the internet and other technology which might make OpenBusiness all the more doable because of it's challenge to copyright (and therefore closed business) and the ability to record and sort so cheaply (or at all).
ExtremeOpenBusiness is an interesting concept. It may actually have some potential for popularity. As long as one doesn't watch a coding in action. You might be jumping up and down with excitement but most will find it an excellent sleeping pill. You also flag the heart element. This is important and I think something Lion was trying to tell me. Business has for a long time been fixated on dispassion wrapped in professionalism and essentially bled the joy out of a lot of people and ultimately the ability of business to stay on the edge of creativity. Business with some passion I think is often more successful.
Yes one of my concerns is closed business competition, particularly of the hostile kind. OpenBusiness will have to survive it. Competition I think will continue in OpenBusiness although it's flavour may be more friendly. I also see OpenBusiness having terribly high levels of flexibility. Bad OpenBusiness will probably die very rapidly and that will likely be a good thing. The thought running here mixed with your 'protection' ideas is that the rapid adaptability and flexibility of OpenBusiness may make the real 'protection' a matter of timeliness. In other words staying several steps ahead of the competition.
I feel we need to grow this and someone is going to have to step into an actual OpenBusiness at some point. We can also look at it from a non entity point of view. Namely OpenBusiness in the form of a transaction or a deal; "doing business" becomes "doing openbusiness". For example, buying something on an auction. It's fast and it's small but could be open. It gives us some testing ground. I also feel charity and community projects we need to open our eyes to. These are not true business but are similar in nature (eg income, expenses, workers, documentation) and are much more open than most commercial businesses are. Therefore I feel there are lessons in there somewhere.
AaronPoeze: Young, Fridemar, but also old, and of course the 'working aged'. Even those that currently feel they cannot do commercial business or work. These will not be like coal mines of the past and the limits of working in OpenBusiness may well be very low.
I just thought computers are such one to one tools. One box, one person. OpenBusiness may open it to being a social thing perhaps with multiple persons using the same screen space. I can't fully visualise it but it seems interesting.