I spent some time on the phone Wednesday with Mike Herrick of the Collaborative Software Initiative. I knew Mike back when he was at Liberty Mutual, building out its open-source team. When Mike left to join CSI, I wondered what would cause someone with a great job in a Fortune 100 enterprise to join a start-up.
Today, things became a bit clearer.
Remember Avalanche? It was an open-source co-op formed by several major enterprises (Best Buy, Wells Fargo, etc.) to share code in areas of common need (call centers, for example) but little to no competitive overlap. The idea was to share code and thereby improve innovation while lowering costs.
CSI is similar in its aims, but I think it's a better approach to the problem because it should do a better job of coordinating collaboration. CSI's mission is to:
build communities of like-minded IT leaders to reduce software development costs, accelerate compliance and consolidate project timelines.
CSI does this by helping to bring different companies to collaborate on IT projects that each individually needs, but that can be done more cost effectively as a collective. So, for example, perhaps CSI found that Credit Suisse needed to develop a trading platform. As it turns out, this is a common need for Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and other financial services companies. So, CSI would then approach these other companies to gauge interest and then to coordinate the development.… Read more