Wonder if open sourcing a company worked…

Being the Change » Blog Archive » The Open Company – Running your business as if it were an Open Source Project.

The real question is how to make the users real participants in the company. There is a lot more to be done than just coding. Everything from support to design and marketing could in principle be opened up to free participation. Obviously there are some things where mistakes could have seriously adverse effects on the company, but this is where it would be appropriate with levels of certification (maybe shown kind of like stackoverflow’s badges).

Imagine you had a company like this. Totally open. No concept of bosses or employees. Anyone could join in at any time, doing whatever task they found interesting, for whatever time they found appropriate. How could you possibly find a way to compensate them fairly?

The key is in a technology called Trust Metrics. In essence this is a technique for rating each other, but with the key distinction that the way ratings are calculated makes cheating ineffective. This is a new technology, which has not been applied for this purpose before, but it has already proven itself as the underlying principle behind such well known technologies as Googles pagerank and the certifications on Advogato.

Some of the trust in algorithms is sweetly quaint, but for something like this where there isn’t a big exogenous pile of money it might work anyway. I almost wish I had a miachine that could run their stuff…


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