Levels of Openness in Human Enterprise

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Levers of Openness in Enterprise


There are several levels of openness in human enterprise – and it is important to make this distinction clear when discussing the evolution of economic systems. Proprietary enterprise provides no access to technological blueprints to outsiders, limits access to the development process to its in-house team, and does not share its enterprise blueprints. By enterprise blueprints, we mean the business plan, enterprise strategy, process information, and other key elements for replicating a successful enterprise. Open Source projects are ones where there is access to the source code or blueprints – and the product development process itself is open to outside. This may involve software, hardware, or any other product/process development. The Open Business Model is defined in Business Model Generation (http://www.businessmodelgeneration.com/) as a business model in which an organization taps outsiders – paid or volunteer - for assistance in product development. This does not imply that a company shares the resulting technological or enterprise blueprints. In a Distributive Enterprise (DE), however – not only is the access to external participation present – but also the products of the development process (technology and enterprise blueprints) are shared openly.

The Distributive Enterprise optimizes for innovation, and is the core of open source ecology. The business of the DE is to put itself out of business – by creating its own competition. This is a mark of high innovation – where innovation and diversification is the key to DE survival. While this is a non-traditional business strategy for success, this strategy aligns with the changing nature of enterprise – where diversification and innovation are the essential metrics of survival.

The distributive enterprise is intended to thrive within the context of an open source economy – where mechanisms exists to encourage open collaboration in product development across companies and sectors. As such, enterprise becomes more information-rich, efficient, and free of competitive waste. Such elimination of inefficiencies implies the emergence of efficiency as the standard in distributive enterprise – and it is inevitable that any organization that wishes to survive in the digital age will by necessity become efficient. Thus, we are proposing that the natural evolution of the economic system is towards efficiency – ie, towards openness and distrbutive enterprise. This is why we claim that the open source economy is the next economy.

The Distrubutive Enterprise is similar to a franchise - except the inherent property of distributive enterprise is the distribution of wealth, as opposed to its concentration. One may call the Distributive Enterprise an Open Franchise. In the case of Open Source Ecology, our scaling strategy involves building social capital by leveraging the Distributive Enterprise branding as our core identity. We enjoy initial primacy and wealth-generation that allows us to to fund further product development. Once we develop a new product, we diversify our product line. If this process continues to succeed one product after another – then we will have reached practical post-scarcity.

Open Source Ecology Definition – Open source ecology is a system composed of human and natural ecosystems where open flow of information is a central feature of component interactions.