Michael Tiemann's blog

Walking With Elephants -- A smart new blog

Mark Webbink has launched a new blog called Walking With Elephants. If Mark had been a developer working on glibc he might have gotten away with "Dances With Wolves", but as a lawyer who has spent many years working with some of the largest software companies in the world, his title is certainly apt. As is his tag line: The Guy With The Shovel.

What I Learned from the Libertarians

Earlier this summer I attended an event featuring Diane Rehm, host of The Diane Rehm Show. At a time when the radio talk show format seems to have reached a point where the only way to be heard is to yell, and where the outrageous behavior of the host becomes news far more important than the subjects they cover, Diane Rehm steadfastly refuses to be drawn into the fray. Her show is a forum of respect for ideas and the people who choose to express those ideas. The most aggressive thing I've ever heard her say in response to a guest is "I'm sorry Mr. So-and-so, but that's just not true." And of course, she's right: when Mr. So-and-so tries to jam the air with counter-factual information, she and her line of producers are vigilant, but not disrespectful. The result has been a remarkable opportunity to hear ideas discussed and developed rather than packaged, ram-rodded, or pilloried.

Design and the Bottom Line

The Impact of Design on Stock Market Performance dates back to 2004, but the kernel of truth it reveals could be even more stunning for the world of open source. Here is the teaser from the Dexiner (pronounced Designer) website:

Design is a critical component of business performance. We’ve heard designers, commentators and companies say it. But, to date, the evidence for the link between shareholder return and investment in design has been scarce and anecdotal.


Do We Need To Stifle Creativity of OSS Developers?

I first met Pierre Fricke in late 1998 or early 1999 when he was working for IBM. He was one of four people charged by IBM to research and evaluate the strategic implications of open source software for IBM's business. Because I was a founder of the world's first open source company, he was keen to understand what I saw back in 1989, what I saw looking to 1999 and beyond, and whether our experience (which earned upwards of $24M of revenue in 1999) could possibly inform the strategy for a company more than 1000x our size.

Getting Schooled In Design

Innovation requires imagination. Henry Ford once said, "If I'd asked my customers what they wanted, they'd have said a faster horse." Making innovative leaps requires design thinking and a culture that looks beyond what exists today.

In the past two years, Nussbaum has written and blogged almost daily about the ways in which D-school (Design school), not B-school (Business school), is reshaping the way companies compete and businesses operate. Consider this observation:

Open Source delivers on promise to rising 3rd grader

I am proud to be a member of the open source community. I am especially proud when I can use open source to do something really unexpected, like getting my daughter all excited about doing something just a little bit batty, making a promise of success, and then, delivering on that promise, in spades.

Pro-competition, not Anti-business

I started to respond to David Richards (the CEO of CentricCRM) comment to the thread I started last week, but that thread has generated a number of sub-threads which I think are better addressed separately. (You can be the judge as to whether this thread separation is a good idea or not.) Thus, I gave a partial response there, and here's really my full response.


First, let me thank you for stepping forward into this discussion.

Designing a New OSI

Stanford Professor David Kelley is one of those rare individuals who has successfully added a new way of thinking to Western Thought: Design Thinking. Indeed, the National Academy of Engineering recognized him for nothing less than "affecting the practice of design." I have come to have great respect for the process of design thinking that David Kelley formalized and now teaches, and now it is time to show that respect by actually practicing what is preached.

Well It Was Twenty Years Ago Today...

It was early June in 1987 when Richard Stallman announced the release of the GNU C compiler version 1.0. As I wrote in Open Sources, it was the most thrilling and most terrifying day of my life (up to that point). Having first read and lightly hacked Emacs code in 1985, having read and lightly hacked GDB code in 1986, I eagerly attended a week-long lecture series on Emacs Stallman gave in Febrary 1987 at MCC in Austin Texas.


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