Open Source: The Universal Model for Innovation?

By John Bruggeman

I came across an interesting article yesterday from the Harvard Business School Working Knowledge site. The article is about an assistant professor,  Karim Lakhani at HBS who conducted some research on how an open source “broadcasting” model taken from software development scenarios, might work among scientists trying to solve scientific problems. According to his research results, practices in the open source software community do in fact offer a model for encouraging large-scale scientific problem solving. The research team discovered that when a problem resides in one domain of expertise, the solution may reside in another domain because innovation happens at the intersection of disciplines. By broadcasting a problem to outsiders, solutions were often found much faster than situations that did not incorporate open source practices.

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