Can Open Source Projects Succeed When the Producers are Not Users? Lessons from the Data Processing Field
Management International, Vol 16, pp 113-127, 2012
45 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2010 Last revised: 6 Sep 2014
Date Written: September 29, 2010
Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) proposes an original way to solve the incentive dilemma for the production of information goods, based on von~Hippel (1988)'s user-as-innovator principle: as users benefit from innovation, they have incentive to produce it, and as they can expect cumulative innovation on their own proposition, they have incentive to share it.
But what is the incentive for producers when they are not users? We discuss this question via a quantitative study of FLOSS projects in “algorithm-based industries”. We find that in that case producers hardly participate in such projects.
Keywords: Knowledge economics, sociology, open source, science, standardization
JEL Classification: O31, O32
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