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The End of Ownership: The Zero-marginal-cost Economy [Sept. 7, 2014]

Submitted on
Dimanche, le 7 septembre 2014h
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The Next Web

By Dries Buytaert

Society is undergoing tremendous change right now — those of us who enjoy services like Uber and Kickstarter are experiencing it firsthand. The sharing and collaboration practices of the internet are extending to transportation (Uber), hotels (Airbnb), financing (Kickstarter, LendingClub), music services (Spotify) and even software development (Linux, Drupal).

While the consumer “sharing economy” gives us a taste of what it’s like to live in a world where we own less, perhaps there’s an equally powerful message for the business community. Using collaboration, companies are dramatically reducing the production cost of their goods or services.

Welcome to the zero-marginal-cost economy, a way of doing business where ownership of a core process is surrendered to community collaboration. In economic terms, the cost of a product – or a “good” – can be divided into two parts.

The first part is a “setup cost,” which is the cost of assembling the team and tools needed to make the first unit. The second part is called the “marginal cost,” or the cost of producing a single, additional unit.

For decades, competitive markets have focused on driving productivity up and marginal costs down, enabling businesses to reduce the price of their goods and services to compete against each other and win customers.

A good example of this approach is Toyota, which completely reinvented how cars were made through lean manufacturing, changing the entire automotive industry.

Japanese cars were produced much more quickly than their American counterparts, created via traditional assembly lines in Detroit, ultimately driving down the final cost for consumers and shrinking margins for companies like Ford. Software development methodologies like the lean startup methodology and Kanban are modeled after the Toyota production line and have made software development more efficient.

Today, the focus is changing. Within service industries like hospitality and transportation, new entrants are succeeding not by optimizing production, but by eliminating production cost altogether.

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Why Drupal? First Principles

This post will give us some common ground on which I can build my case for Drupal. To get started, we’ll need working definitions of success in business today, the nature of open source software, and a quick explanation of Drupal itself. In subsequent posts, we’ll explore specific concepts and examples of how Drupal enables success because it is open source software at scale – a powerful combination: the empowerment of freedom multiplied by an ecosystem of thousands of service providers, tens of thousands of developers, and millions of sites online.

Why Drupal? Because It Will Help You Win

How will Drupal help you win? How will it help you do better? As business itself becomes digital, the benefits that a widely adopted, open source technology solution like Drupal can bring to organizations today are manyfold, but they can be boiled down to a few salient points.

The key ways Drupal will help you win:

CMO Interview: Marketing Open Source (to Marketers) [April 24, 2014]

Submitted on
jeudi, le 24 avril 2014h
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CMO

By Rohan Pearce

The CMO of Massachusetts-based Acquia wants to take the open source software message to other marketers

It's a product that costs nothing, is up against entrenched competitors, and exists in a category that enterprises have in the past been wary of. All in all, marketing open source software to other marketers was never going to be an easy job.

So you might forgive Tom Wentworth if he was a little wary of taking up the role of chief marketing officer at Acquia. But the CMO says that when he received a message from a recruiter asking if he was interested in the position, he jumped at the chance. "I couldn't have dialled back the number faster when I saw him asking about Acquia," Wentworth says.

Wentworth took up the role at Boston-based Acquia 17 months ago. The company provides software and services based on Drupal: A well-established, modular open source content management system.

Although it is Wentworth's first experience at an open source company, he has held marketing roles in other content management software vendors for about 15 years. Before Acquia, he was CMO at Ektron, and prior to that he was Web solutions evangelist at Interwoven, which was acquired in 2009 by Autonomy — which itself was snapped up by HP in 2011 (a somewhat fraught acquisition ).

Wentworth joined Acquia in December 2012. The decision was a "if you can't beat them, join them", he says. "As somebody's who's been in the market for so long, I saw the clear shift to open source and I saw the disruption Drupal was having in the market and really wanted to be a part of it.

"When I look at the future of integrated digital experiences and how I see CMOs are changing how they adapt digital technology, I think Drupal is so strongly suited for that and I had to find a way to get here."

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Welcome to the Open Source Renaissance [April 13, 2014]

Submitted on
Dimanche, le 13 avril 2014h
,
GigaOM

By Tom Erickson, Acquia CEO

Summary: Ever-popular among developers, open source technology has moved away from the fringes of tech right to the center of the enterprise, thanks to its high level of security and agility.

In the span of just a few years, open source has produced businesses that are incredibly attractive to the investment community. In 2012, open source venture investment jumped 80 percent over the prior year with $553 million invested, compared to $307 million in 2011. VCs have flocked to darlings like MongoDB, Open Stack, Cloudera, Puppet Labs and Hortonworks because these companies are solving incredibly difficult challenges in the cloud and big data arena faster than any proprietary software vendor could.

So why the big increase in interest now? Open source software has been around for years, in many cases implemented on the fringes by developers who prefer the freedom and flexibility of contributing to the evolution of the platforms with which they choose to work. There were even early glimmers of promise; for example, Linux proved to be a fast, effective server platform for many businesses before it grew to be one of the largest open source communities and the third-largest web client operating system in the world.

But today, open source has crossed over from a niche techie outlier to a driving force for businesses.

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One Thing Inc. 5000 Companies Have in Common: Performance [Aug. 20, 2013]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 août 2013h
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Inc. 500

How Inc. 5000 companies make other companies better. And in the process, make the economy work.

By Leigh Buchanan

We know companies that operate data centers are critical to the economy. If we thought about it, we would realize companies providing air conditioners to keep those data centers running are critical, too. But how critical are companies that maintain and service the air-conditioning systems that cool the data centers?

Toby Thomas found out in 2007. At the time, he was working for a business that was hired by Perot Systems to ensure its data center stayed cool while a new one was under construction. Perot Systems had many big financial clients, and "the day before we went in, we got a call from a top executive saying, 'I want you to know, if this fails, what will happen,' " recalls Thomas. " 'It will be on CNN. The stock market could be affected. The value of the dollar could be affected.'

"I realized, Wow, we're not just guys in hardhats doing a job," says Thomas. Two years later, he founded EnSite Solutions, now based in Irving, Texas. "Data centers are more tied to our economy than oil is," says Thomas. A company that services data-center cooling systems is mission critical to the mission critical to the mission critical.

The Fortune 500 traffics in consumer products, oil, pharmaceuticals, cars, retail, and the kinds of telecom services and software most people use every day. The Inc. 5000 is, by and large, a more esoteric crowd. Many supply businesses and government agencies with such products as network-on-chip design (Arteris), cloud-services brokering (Cloud Sherpas), and electronic payment technology optimized for the clinical-trial industry (Greenphire). The niches they ply can be inscrutably specific. Acquia provides products, services, and technical support for the Drupal social publishing system. Understanding Acquia requires a pit stop at drupal.org to learn about a fascinating corner of the global open-source movement.

Let's Get Personal: The Basics

Personalization is as old as marketing itself. Give each customer what they want, how they want it, when they want it. New technologies, platforms, and devices give us the tools to reinvent this venerable approach, expanding its reach and effectiveness. To wring the maximum value out of personalization, you have to track your results, constantly re-evaluate what you are doing, and adjust your strategy accordingly. In Part One of this 5-part series on personalization, we'll start with the broad strokes.

Kyle Browning on the open-sourced Drupal Create iOS app

Kyle Browning, the Director of Mobile WorkHabit, talks about developing for Drupal as a mobile platform and the open-sourcing of the new Drupal Create app for iOS.

Trickle-down & ripple-out: the 4 Freedoms with Anthony Ferrara

PHP core contributor, security expert, and Senior Architect at NBCUniversal, Anthony Ferrara and I sat down to talk at the PHP BeNeLux '13 conference. In part one of our conversation, we talked about open source as an ethos and how it affects business. In this part, we talk about what the Four Freedoms mean to us as IT and web professionals, but also the growing impact of open source software outside the world of software development.

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