From Planning to Mature: On the Success of Open Source Projects

Research Policy, Vol. 36 (2007), pp.1575-1586, 2007

Posted: 27 Jul 2012

See all articles by Stefano Comino

Stefano Comino

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management

Fabio M. Manenti

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management

Maria Laura Parisi

University of Brescia, Department of Economics and Management

Date Written: October 23, 2007

Abstract

Open source is an example of user-centric innovation initiated by an individual or group of users to satisfy their specific needs; the more a software evolves towards a stable release able to address the requirements of its developers, the more successful the project. In this paper we use a large data-set obtained from SourceForge.net to estimate the relationship between a series of different characteristics of OS projects and the probability of evolution of the source code from a preliminary release to a mature version.

We show that while projects distributed under highly restrictive licensing terms (GPL) have a significantly smaller probability of reaching a stable release, applications towards sophisticated users have a larger probability of evolving in the development status. Interestingly, we find that the size of the “community of developers” increases the chances of progress but this effect decreases as the community gets larger, a signal of possible coordination problems.

Keywords: Software market, Open source software, Development status, Intended audience, License

JEL Classification: O38, L51, L63

Suggested Citation

Comino, Stefano and Manenti, Fabio M. and Parisi, Maria Laura, From Planning to Mature: On the Success of Open Source Projects (October 23, 2007). Research Policy, Vol. 36 (2007), pp.1575-1586, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2118736

Stefano Comino

University of Trento - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via Inama 5
Trento, I-38100
Italy

Fabio M. Manenti (Contact Author)

University of Padua - Department of Economics and Management ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

Maria Laura Parisi

University of Brescia, Department of Economics and Management ( email )

via San Faustino 74/b
Brescia, 25122
Italy
+39 0302988826 (Phone)
+39 0302988837 (Fax)

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