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, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

I was fiddling around with some stats generators one of which includes links back to my blog.  Most of them end up being me commenting on someone else’s posts or linking back to my blog within my own posts … kindof a circular conversation with myself. 

I wandered into a post by Fred at A VC because I was following a comment I’d made that included a link back to my site.  I think Fred’s post and my comment are rather good.  So … I’m reposting Fred’s post on my blog in which I comment about myself and linking back to Fred’s post which of course continues the conversation with … myself. 

How’s that for insanity?

The Open Source Metaphor:

December 13, 2004 in Venture Capital and Technology | Permalink

“Open source is a metaphor for the way innovation works best in all ways of life.

Rarely does brilliance come out of nowhere.  It usually comes from being inspired by something and taking that inspiration and adding a little more. 

That’s how open source software works.  That’s how blogging works.  That’s how a lot of things work.

So with that thought rattling around in my brain, I came upon the Trickster’s discussion of bluesman Robert Johnson this weekend.  Robert Johnson is an inspiration to many of the great musicians of our times, Bob Dylan, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, etc.  But many debate his contribution to the world of music and claim he was a “minor figure” in the development of the blues.

Well I have tried to get into Robert Johnson more than a couple times, but his music is too sparse and too thinly recorded for my enjoyment.

That said, Trickster’s post is worth reading because in it he asserts the exact same point that I was making about the open source metaphor.

To quote from Trickster’s post: ‘Johnson did what hundreds of great artists have done–he took folk material from around him in the world and through an act of creative molding, turned that material into something more than just found stuff. He turned it into literature.’

This is how open source works.  It is how blogging works.  And with the digital revolution upon us, I believe this is how much of the innovation that will result from the digital revolution will work.”

Comment posted by: Jeremy | Dec 13, 2004 6:25:50 PM

“Good take on music. All things with a deep heritage must, of course, be the products of what went before. It’s a subtle aspect of what Newton may have meant when he said, “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Which, incidentally, was copied from a Jewish sage, Isaiah ben Mali di Trani (b. 1200).

The saying’s obvious meaning is that those that went before are holding us up and allowing an unprecedented perspective. More subtle meanings might include: If you want to be innovative, climb up the mountains of learning around you.

Open source is amazing because it finally puts a business face on old traditions. Traditions like the roles of a father (surely you’ve caught glimpses of your children copying you) are suddenly interesting from a business perspective. When your kids learn and improve on your ideas, they are moding and hacking previous versions. When they take what they see and do it themselves somewhere else, they are copying and replicating working versions into different applications.

I’d be interested to read ideas you have on open-source type ideas in business outside software development.

You might enjoy a post I wrote earlier this month: Copy-cat. Let me know what you think if you drop by.

Thanks for your blog, I enjoy your ideas.”

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