13 June 2006

Something Happened

Yesterday, I was making a presentation about open source. It was to a team of IT professionals, from the CIO down. They were a very successful team at a very successful company. This meant that they knew technology, and they knew their jobs. And yet my talk about the mad, mad, world of open source left them quite non-plussed - and I don't think it was the fault of my presentation skills.

Basically, they had not come into contact with full-force open source, and the experience clearly proved rather shocking. All this services-based stuff was so utterly alien to the professional world they had so successfully negotiated all these years, that it rather took them aback.

That was interesting, because it showed just how easy it is for pundits like me to become isolated from that world: yes, there are people for whom open source is still strange and alien.

But the other even more interesting thing is that, being intelligent, this group of IT professionals were able to grasp the basic ideas and appreciate that it might be worth considering. After all, the Internet has already changed the rules once, so maybe this open source stuff would do it again (not least because it is really the same revolution, but manifest in a different way).

This experience gives me hope that the open source message will eventually change people's way of looking at the world - and make something happen, as it did yesterday, incrementally but ineluctably.

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