What business can learn from open source: a mindmap summary

July 25, 2014

In 2005, Paul Graham (@paulg on Twitter), tech inventor, author and entrepreneur, gave a seminal speech at O’Reilly’s OSCON conference: What business can learn from open source. Nearly 10 years after that event, the speech is as powerful and relevant as ever.

Cooperatics created a mindmap summary of the speech. Feel free to download it by clicking on the image below.

What business can learn from open source

What business can learn from open source

 

Further information:

Listen to the audio recording of the speech

Read the full-text version of the speech.

Cooperation in housing and living

May 26, 2014

Have you heard of coliving and cohousing?

These concepts were part of the presentations at OuiShareFest’s latest edition, from May 4th to May 7th, 2014, in Paris.

The joy of coliving ! Creative commons CC NC BY rr0cketqueen

What is coliving?

Coliving is very similar to coworking, as explained Chelsea RUSTRUM (@chelsearustrum) to the audience at OuiShareFest. It happens when people with common values and interests decide to share a home, as well as its resources and the daily responsibilities that come with it.

This is a trendy phenomenon, as can be seen on the map published on coliving.org’s Web site.

Coliving activists enjoy the family-like atmosphere that can be found in this kind of homes, with common events and meals. They also emphasize the flexibility they make possible, for they are often people who love traveling all over the world.

What is cohousing?

Cohousing goes one step further, by designing a house with a sharing purpose from day one. Typically, this kind of houses have a collective pattern, with parts of them being shared and others private. Esra TAT (@EsraDT) explains that cohousing gets more and more popular in a context of a collaborative economy but that it is not really new. Its roots can be found with the social housing homes built by the Rothschild foundation, as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

Bâtiment édifié par la fondation Rothschild à Paris

A building of the Rothschild foundation. Paris, early 20th century.

Today, cohousing is popular again because it is both an economical way of housing… and an ecological one. Architects try to make them “energy-plus houses”, or at least to reduce their energy consumption.

An article written with the participation of Smartwords’ Sandra Daems.

So does Linkedin steal e-mail addresses after all?

September 26, 2013

LinkedinLet’s face it: ever since the PRISM scandal came to light, a confuse feeling of distrust has prevailed regarding US-based social networks. This includes Linkedin, even though it was not mentioned in Edward Snowden’s leaks as being part of the PRISM surveillance program.

No wonder then that lawsuits and petitions against those firms are gaining momentum. The latest one specifically regards Linkedin and takes the form of a class action taken by four American users, as Bloomberg revealed last Sunday.  They claim that Linkedin “appropriated their identities for marketing purposes by hacking into their external e-mail accounts and downloading contacts’ addresses.”

This case rang a bell as I experienced myself suspicion regarding Linkedin’s “People you may know” feature… no longer than last Saturday! On September 21, I was indeed puzzled by an e-mail received by Linkedin saying:

“Your contact, X.Y, just joined LinkedIn”

I just couldn’t understand how on earth Linkedin knew X.Y. was an acquaintance of mine. Indeed, Mr Y has 0 connection on Linkedin. His all but complete profile does not show any similarity with mine except that we both work in Paris, France, and are self-employed.

The only reason I could think of why Mr Y might have appeared as a potential connection is that, at a given time, I may have granted access to Linkedin to my Gmail address book. I am not 100% sure of it, but this possibility is all the more likely that in my Linkedin settings, I do have a series of “imported contacts”. For the record, “imported contacts” are contacts a member has imported from an external source (e.g. Gmail address book) and that are not yet Linkedin connections.

So I checked my imported contacts and, to my surprise, I noticed that Mr Y was not one of them.

So the question was remaining: why did Linkedin suggested me Mr Y? Even if I did import my Gmail contacts at a given time, he  was obviously not a contact of mine at that time.

So I wrote to Linkedin support and received their answer the following day:

“Hi Jerome,
Thanks for contacting me.  I apologize for the delayed response.  Jerome, with our ‘People You May Know’ feature the contact does not have to be an imported contact.  If the contact has you in their address book that they imported, you can also receive this message that he/she joined LinkedIn.
I looked into your account and he is not one of your contacts yet.  We are making you aware that he has joined the network and you can request him to join your network.
Thanks for being a LinkedIn member since 2004.
Regards,R.
Customer Experience Advocate”
So maybe Linkedin suggested me Mr Y because I was in his address book. To be sure, I called Mr Y. And here is what he told me: “I have joined Linkedin just a few days ago. I remember that I refused to import my Gmail address book when they asked me to.”
So Linkedin support’s answer does not solve the issue. I still don’t know how they could make a link between Mr Y and myself.
As far as I am concerned, I think there is something fishy, here.

Attention, crowdfunders: set Chopin free!

September 6, 2013

 

Frédéric Chopin by Eugène Delacroix, Musée du Louvre

Frédéric Chopin by Eugène Delacroix, Musée du Louvre

Musopen is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing copyright free music content: music recordings, sheet music and a music textbook. In 2010, they raised $68, 359 (well over the $11,000 requested) on Kickstarter to hire an internationally renowned orchestra : Musopen recorded and released the rights to Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.

Today, Musopen has decided to tackle a far more ambitious project: record and release for free (meaning royalty-free) the entire works of Frédéric Chopin.

A little bit of explanation here: true, it is 164 years after Chopin’s death. So his music is well into the public domain. Yet, as Musopen explains, most people still consume it as if it were still copywritten: from CDs, iTunes, or Youtube videos (many of which are copywritten).

The new fundraising campaign aims at hiring talented performers to record all of Chopin’s works and then release this music for free, both in 1080p video and 24 bit 192kHz audio. This is roughly 245 pieces.

To do this, Musopen needs $75,000. The fundraising campaing is going through October 20th, 2013.

To learn more about their project : Set Chopin free Kickstarter’s page.

Cooperation and self-interest

August 9, 2013

Self-interest is at the root of cooperation. In a group of free individuals, everyone tries to maximize his/her self-interest. It is a major criterion when chosing a strategy (consciously or uncounsciously) for dealing with others, even if it is not the only one.

The cooperative approach is based on the assumption that for a rational individual to maximize his self-interest, he needs other people. Given this assumption, an individual has two options. One of them is trying to benefit from other people at their expense, often by manipulating them; the other option is cooperating with other people, i.e. acknowledging that they also have their own interests that they try to maximize. When giving other people a hand to reach their goal, one expects that they will do the same in return. At the end of the day, this brings virtuous feedback loops that benefit the whole group. When a group of people is facing other groups in a competition (e.g. in sports or in business), this collective advantage can make it prevail.

When people in a group chose to cooperate, some of them may eventually be better off than the others. Still, the cooperative strategy benefits to the group as a whole and makes it stronger than other groups that would have chosen other strategies.

Is greed really more likely to be ‘paid forward’ than equality or generousity?

December 29, 2012

According to a survey carried out by researchers at Harvard University, greed, not generousity, is more likely to be “paid forward”, contrary to a common belief.

Researchers involved individuals in a series of 5 experiments including money, and on others dealing with work, as described in a Medical News Today article. The result was the same: people having been exposed to greed were more likely to “pay forward” than those exposed to generousity or mere equality.

Still, 2 biases are patent in the described experiments. First, individuals are asked to accomplish a task exactly similar to the greed/equality/generousity they have just experienced ; second, they are asked to accomplish it immediately after they experienced greed/equality/generousity. So the study does not provide any hint on the mid-to long-term impact of greed/equality/generousity, nor on the impact on the general psychology of people, in situations that are not strictly similar.

Nice perspectives for cloud computing in Europe

March 26, 2011
Creative Commons – photographerpandora

Exciting opportunities are waiting for companies ready to adopt cloud computing.  Indeed, according to a study conducted by EMC and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), cloud computing will make it possible for European companies to save an estimated 763 billion euros  by 2015.

Jean-Yves Pronier, marketing director at EMC France, said that “the adoption of cloud computing gives companies the agility and cost reductions that are now necessary for their development in a difficult economic context “.

In the same vein, cloud computing should also result in the creation of 2.4 million jobs, especially in the areas of distribution and tourism.

Source: http://dsi.silicon.fr/nouveautes/le-nuage-fera-economiser-163-milliards-d% E2% 80% 99euros-a-la-France-1118

Be Bio: my first P2P investment with Friendsclear

October 1, 2010

Microfinance is something pretty new in France. A couple of months ago, Jean-Christophe Capelli launched Friendsclear Pro, a collaborative website where investors and entrepreneurs can meet.

This website is original because investors can invest as little as 100 euros. Even if you are not that well-off, you can show your support and confidence in a project. When enough investors have backed the project to collect the total amount requested by the entrepreneur, the loan is granted.

As far as I am concerned, I decided to invest into Be Bio. The company has existed since the end of 2009 and is using Friendsclear to finance a new investment. Their activity consists in delivering organic food baskets to employees where they work. Given the momentum on the organic market in France these days, this is definitely a good niche.

What I like about Friendsclear is that:

  • this is a new way for entrepreneurs to raise money
  • it is a good way to foster entrepreneurship and to help risk-takers
  • investors can expect a good return, up to 4.25%
  • investors can fine-tune their risk, since investments can start with 100 euros only
  • this is one step more towards a cooperative economy, which I have been advocating since 2004!

To learn more about Friendsclear, just visit their website: www.friendsclear.com

After e-book, e-booksellers!

June 21, 2010

Edit (June 8th, 2013) : their Website seems to have been discontinued as from 2012.

After the dematerialization of books, here comes the dematerialization of booksellers! This is the idea behind French Doucet bookshop’s libraireadomicile.fr. Looking for a book idea for a gift? Needing references for a term paper ? Or maybe you have discovered a great idea in a book  but can’t remember the author or title?

Libraireadomicile website offers a form where you can enter characteristics of the book you are looking for. You will then receive by mail a complete bibliographic record that will help you find the book of your dreams!

Wiki Art: collective works in search of an author?

June 8, 2010

Crowd, photo par James Cridland

One of the characteristics of Web 2.0 as described by Tim O’Reilly is its “hackability”: sites, services and applications are built by successive strokes, by continuously rearranging existing bricks. This is the spirit of mash-ups (aggregation of content from other sources) or applications using other web services’ API (Google Maps, Twitter, etc..)

This trend is not only technical, it is behavioral. It has an impact on various aspects of life, including art. The Los Angeles Times provides a good analysis of this in their article “Essay: Technology changes how art is created and perceived”.

The article relies on several examples. One of them is the Johnny Cash project . It is a tribute to Johnny Cash  on which Web users are invited to collectively build a video clip for the song “Ain’t No Grave”. Participants can submit a drawing for each frame of the video and / or vote for their favorite designs.The result of this process of collective creation (crowdsourcing) will be the final clip.

Another example is Reality Hunger , a book by David Shields, made as a collage of 600 fragments from other books.

The phenomenon of “remix” or enhancements of existing works has gained an unprecendented momentum. True, works inspired by earlier pieces of art are not new.  Pop art has extensively used this creative process, with Andy Warhol or Lichtenstein, for example.  But until now a person was at work, crafted the overall plan, provided a direction, an intent.  It is still the case with Reality Hunger.  But will the sum of thousands of  uncoordinated edits in an initiative such as the Johnny Cash project result in a coherent piece of art? If so, it will not necessarily be anonymous (participants can register a user name) but it will be apersonal if not impersonal ; it will be a one thousand contributors work without an author. Unless we suggest that this collectivity of users  is driven by an invisible hand, a metaphysical collective being,  and that the final work reflects a person transcending the multitude …


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