before i worked for a enormous corporation like motorola, i had no idea how true the following statement in How Big Blue fell for Linux can be:

“The story of how IBM made friends with free software hackers, from the early days when it dipped its toes into the Apache Project to its current headfirst plunge into Linux, is not the story of a carefully executed strategy. It is instead a tale of contingency, luck, a few committed engineers and a few canny executives. Its twists and turns hinge on the results of combating agendas, political maneuvering and software ambition. At its most mundane, it is a story that hints at how the battle for dominance over new software markets will be waged over the next few years. At its most metaphysical, it is a story that illuminates the contradictions inherent in the very concept of a “corporation.”

It’s all too easy to see a company like IBM, or Sun, or even Microsoft, in the terms of the legal fiction that is represented by the word “corporation,” to anthropomorphize it as a “body” and give it attributes — evil, good, brilliant, stupid, spunky, lumbering. But the modern corporation is far too fragmented and balkanized to personify in such simple, unitary terms.”

“”I think many people don’t realize how much the social dynamics inside of large companies [such as IBM] resemble that of the open-source community,” says Vepstas. “It’s just that within large corporations the cooperation and the bickering are hidden from public view. The Linux/390 guys within IBM were stepping on all sorts of land mines internally.””

Leave a Reply