avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • Sunday October 2, 2022, 5:47 am
  • Proudly celebrating 15+ years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Paul Graham's Essays ("What Business Can Learn from Open Source" and more)  (Read 6591 times)


  • First Author
  • Administrator
  • Joined in 2005
  • *****
  • Posts: 40,825
    • View Profile
    • Mouser's Software Zone on
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Paul Graham wrote a book called "Hackers and Painters" (
he publishes interesting essays online that might be worth a read.

From "What Business Can Learn from Open Source" (
The third big lesson we can learn from open source and blogging is that ideas can bubble up from the bottom, instead of flowing down from the top. Open source and blogging both work bottom-up: people make what they want, and the best stuff prevails.
Does this sound familiar? It's the principle of a market economy. Ironically, though open source and blogs are done for free, those worlds resemble market economies, while most companies, for all their talk about the value of free markets, are run internally like communist states.
There are two forces that together steer design: ideas about what to do next, and the enforcement of quality. In the channel era, both flowed down from the top. For example, newspaper editors assigned stories to reporters, then edited what they wrote.
Open source and blogging show us things don't have to work that way. Ideas and even the enforcement of quality can flow bottom-up. And in both cases the results are not merely acceptable, but better. For example, open source software is more reliable precisely because it's open source; anyone can find mistakes.

from alex3f


  • Review 2.0 Designer
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,739
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Damn Paul Graham and his lengthy, interesting essays. He is responsible for much of my time "wasting" online. :D And once again here I think he has a lot of really good stuff to say. Now I just need to convince my boss. ;) No, actually my job is really pretty damn cool as far as 9-5 jobs are concerned. I couldn't ask for much more freedom and still get my job ("IT guy") done - it's one of those things where I do generally need to be in the office at least some amount of every day. But I'll definitely be keeping this stuff in mind for the unspecified future when I have my own business. Makes me chuckle about those people I've seen spending $1000's to put in a "professional home office" though. :D

- Oshyan


  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 1,321
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Oh my! The excerpt made me curious, but I have so much else to read too. And my own site needs fresh content too, so I need to WRITE something too.

 ;D :P