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Culture

What open source does to people

Open source is often cited for its quality code but, as Scott Davis points out, the greater effect of open source is on how the vendor behaves, not what it writes.

Scott Davis came to work for Alfresco a month ago, and the open source air seems to be getting to him...in a positive way. A recent blog entryreveals that there's more to open source than just a development methodology. In fact, that actually may be one of the lesser attributes of open source.

Having been in the industry for 17 years -- the last 10 working for vendors -- the notion of "transparency" that comes with applying an OSS style to one's business model makes for more than a slick marketing slide. It permeates the software company's culture and drastically transforms relationships across-the-board. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but the next time you feel like something is being withheld by a proprietary vendor during a sales cycle, it's probably because you're right....

As Scott has discovered, open source aligns customer interests with vendor interests. You get paid to support the customer and drive value for her, not for shoving license fees at her. This dramatically changes the way you think about customers, because you have to think about these customers every single day of their subscription with you.