Free Beer, Free Culture. An open business metaphor come alive.

When we begin to look at the range of examples – OpenBusiness.cc has a prominent collection – we might learn something from the pattern. Some have already seen enough to publish their insights. The short list of these books is led by MIT professor Eric von Hippel’s Democratizing Innovation. Open source businesses, von Hippel explains, know that their customers are not idiots. These companies encourage customers to tinker with their products; they then learn from this tinkering how to make the products better. Yochai Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks places this commercial practice in a larger and perhaps more significant social context: Although peer production is profitable for business, writes Benkler, “we are in the midst of a quite basic transformation in how we perceive the world around us and how we act, alone and in concert with others.” What he calls nonmarket peer production is a critical part of this transformation.

Read Lawrence Lessig’s article Free, as in Beer in WIRED and explore Yochai Benkler’s Wealth of Networks.

Please contribute your knowledge of Lawrence Lessig, Open Source and Free Culture to the Whats New Media Wiki.

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1 Comment

Filed under A democratic medium?, Business 2.0, Digital Commons, Networks, Open Source, P2P (Peer to Peer), The Politics of New Media, User generated content, web 2.0

One response to “Free Beer, Free Culture. An open business metaphor come alive.

  1. Pingback: Open Source Prosthetics « What’s New Media?

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