Kevin Koym’s out to change the world

I got a big kick out this post by Kevin. I’ve been friends with Kevin a long time, and through discussions over lunch, coffee, or beers over several years I’ve watched him wrestle with issues about working and launching new companies in a super-networked world. The nature of doing business, especially in technology, is changing dramatically and it looks like Kevin is way ahead of the curve piecing the puzzle together. My discussions with him helped form the basis of my Master’s thesis (Learning from Open Source) but now he’s taking it to a new level. Kevin’s also written a new book, which he describes as a field manual for launching new ventures in a network economy. I’m definitely looking forward to reading it.


Open vs. closed networks

As part of my [thesis][] research, I have been reading a stack of books, including [Linked][linked], [Six Degrees][sixdeg], [Design For Community][dfc] and [The Future of Ideas][tfoi]. At the same time I’ve been exploring and studying various online communities, trying to determine what makes them tick.

Is there a common characteristic of successful communities? So far, I’ve been nursing along the notion that “openness” is a common feature (among others) of the groups and communities that I’ve been studying.

[thesis]: /archives/2004/05/my_thesis_topic.html
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My Thesis Topic

I am currently working on my thesis for a Master’s degree in Engineering Management. The topic I am studying and writing about deals with online collaborative environments and communities. Specifically, I’m compiling case studies of various successful online collaborations, looking for the qualities that are common among them. My hope is that I will be able to identify some fundamental characteristics necessary to foster effective collaboration across geographical and cultural boundaries.

The groups/communities I am currently investigating are the Apache Software Foundation, Wikipedia and {fray}.

I’ll be posting more on this topic in the near future.