Open Source Management
by Elliot McGucken

As internet stocks tumble and high-tech pyramid schemes crash and burn, the classical phoenix of hard work and innovation can be seen rising from the ashes, in the form of open source software. For the first time in all of history, words have become actions, as software is labor immortalized. To utilize open source is to manage thousands of the best and brightest coders, and the best thing about it is that they're willing to work for free.

Written under the GNU Public License, which stipulates that the source and all modifications must remain both viewable and free, open source software has flourished upon the internet, as thousands of "hackers" from all about the globe are continually modifying and enhancing thousands of applications. And just as they are standing upon the shoulders of the thousands of innovators who came before them, you and your organization may stand upon their shoulders.

Banner ads and ecommerce can only support sites with high quality product/employee ratios, and thus successful companies will be those where the visionaries and producers are also the managers. This is not all that new in teh tech world, as Microsoft, Intel, Dell, and Yahoo were all founded and managed by those who were as comfortable leveraging technology as they were at leading people.

Managers with a firm grounding in open source technologies will be able to save an organization time and money, as they will command the talents of thousands of innovators and hackers, while also being able to leverage the vast web of support which exists in FAQs and forums throughout the internet. The fatal flaw of most internet companies was multiple layers of management and marketing, which were needless drains on the cash which should never be spent before a viable product or service exists.

A prudent IT manager will seek to delegate as much responsibility to the software, while hiring employees who will have the technical background to do the same. Technology and content tend to sell themselves, and when they are married in an aesthetic fashion, the potential for natural publicity augments.

The three precepts of Open Source Management are:

1. By leveraging open source software, one is managing thousands of the best and brightest.
2. Open source software is labor immortalized, and it works for free.
3. The quality of open source software, which leverages the power of the network, increases exponentially, and thus it is best suited to keep up with opportunities afforded by Moore's law.

Lean companies offering something unique will prevail on the internet, while those weighed down by layers of management, who do not actively participate in the design, will be hampered. Simple software has enhanced individual productivity, and thus a sole individual can employ software to promote, sell, and distribute a product, rather than hiring people to perform those tasks. Multiple layers of management may have been necessary to succeed at raising money in the creation of high-tech pyramid schemes, but the companies which survive and prosper shall be those which best leverage the open source software which represents labor immortalized.