Subject: Re: Communities as the new IPR?
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2005 16:06:54 +0900

>>>>> "rn" == Russell Nelson <> writes:

    rn> Sharp had some very nice handheld hardware, but loaded it with
    rn> Cathedral-style software and didn't understand the need for a
    rn> community of developers.  They made a few feeble motions in
    rn> the direction of a community, but they didn't know how to sell
    rn> their hardware and eventually gave up.

No, Sharp understands community, all right, and the hardware sells
very well here.  I'm on my 5th Sharp handheld myself.  And the Zaurus
has the same mindshare as the iPod at Tokyo LUG meetings, although the
only competitor to iPod is only a couple of months old while iPaq and
Palm are older than the Zaurus.

The thing is that the Japanese just don't get the bazaar concept.  The
idea that community can be fluid, that it's not a life-long 24x7
commitment, that you can be a member of multiple non-nested
communities simultaneously, is not widespread here.[1]  It shows in
their OSS as well as in the corporate world.

So this is a generic issue with Japanese society.  I'd avoid using
Japanese companies as examples in this thread.

[1]  When I got here I told people that my hobbies were guitar,
tennis, and Emacs ... and they said "How can you have more than one
hobby?  Boy, Americans are weird."

School of Systems and Information Engineering
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.