Paul Graham is the author of the excellent Hackers and Painters and also has a great blog, so it wasn’t suprising his IT Conversations piece was a riot – check it out, recommended 30 mins of quality time and not while you’re coding. Thanks to Luis for the tip.
Here’s the summary:
Paul Graham, popular author and Lisp programmer,
discusses what business can learn from open source. According to him,
it’s not about Linux or Firefox, but the forces that produced them. He
delves into the reasons why open source is able to produce better
software, why traditional workplaces are actually harmful to
productivity and the reason why professionalism is overrated.
Paul takes blogging as an analogy and explains how the
phenomenon is actually very similar to the open source movement. Both
show that amateurs often surpass professionals in what they choose to
do, because they love what they are doing. He also points out that in
the age of the internet, which has made collaboration extremely easy,
large corporations find it difficult to compete with software produced
by a bunch of inspired hackers. Paul also takes a dig at workplaces as
we know them and illustrates how the most productive phase of any
company is when it is still a startup.
Update: follow up with this one, also very good.