Why are open-source CEOs so darn cute and cuddly?

Open source makes its CEOs in its image: collaborative and somewhat humble.

Chris Keene, CEO of ActiveGrid, has an interesting take on the open-source CEO that I hadn't really considered before, but which I think has some validity: open-source CEOs tend to reflect the dynamics of open source, namely they are collaborative and somewhat (somewhat, mind you!) humble.

Open source CEOs don't see every other CEO/company as an enemy in their zero-sum strategy to take over the known software universe. They bring a community-minded approach not just to their technical work but also to their business activities.

You can't take this too far - there are jerks in open source just as there are in the proprietary software world. But I do think there's something to Chris' contention (ironic diction intended). The people I know in the open-source world are fiercely competitive...without being fierce. They are intent on winning without being obnoxious.

All of which makes open source - project or company - an enjoyable place to work.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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