Monday, February 04, 2002

I thought this was kinda sorta interesting...from slashdot:

A franchise is a pretty simple business structure held together by common image and business processes. Normally a franchise owner pays a tithe to the franchiser in exchange to access to IP and in some cases a place to operate. Franchises are all geographically focused. That's why you can have lots of them and they all pay their dues to the slush fund at the top that grants them their right to exist.
The view from the top is pretty good. The franchiser gets to burn the advertising bucks and get to snort the coke off the stripper's tits and carry on like a mega corp exec., or whatever.

i have been trying to imagine an open sourced franchise. say for example a really cool team with some really cool software and really cool ways of developing software and tools etc decided that they'd provide the overall branding and infrastructure, and for no fee, but enforced compliance, people could adopt your franchise and your cool tools, processes, etc and your billing systems etc, and make good money or not as they choose, but rather than contribute money upstream, innovations and enhancements are fed through to all memebers of the franchise network.

a client would know that when they hire one franchise team they are getting a whole network of teams that work in very very similar ways, but with local enhancements that if generally accepted as beneficial, get accepted by the network of teams.

tools such as CVS and then sourceforge allowed open source projects to flourish. similarly tools such as p2p project management tools and billing systems, as well as automated unit testing ala JUnit, and a host of other eXtreme Programming widgets will allow teams to gather around a brand for the accelerating benefit of all. I think the so called open company manifesto [], an amateur regurgitation of the main tennents of the ClueTrain Manifesto [], missed the point entirely. The Open Cola [] experiment is a sham and a marketing gimmick. I quote "An important note: this is *not* the recipe for "OpenCola" -- that is, the canned beverage from OpenCola that you may have received at a trade show, or other venue or outlet. Making canned cola requires millions of dollars in abstruse gear and manufacturing gizmos. It's easier to make nerve gas than manufacture cola. This is a kitchen-sink recipe that you can make all on your own. It is *our* kitchen-sink recipe. We figured it out somewhere between coding the COLA SDK and debugging the Linux build of the clerver." [from their recipe].

But there is no reason why the philosophies surrounding the open source movement cannot have direct impact on the way a multinational runs, as well as the legal system, education, health care, prisons, terrorist networks, and even the military. an open sourced army? be the first on your block. :-)

by davesag


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