Subject: Re: Nessus 3.0's failed community
From: "Marshall W. Van Alstyne" <marshall@MIT.EDU>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 12:23:39 -0500

At 07:42 AM 11/27/2005, Brian Behlendorf wrote:

>So, is this an example that the open source approach isn't guaranteed to 
>work no matter how "open" you are, or did Ron fail to provide both the 
>processes and motivations to facilitate outside contribution?  It always 
>surprises me when I hear certain open source companies brag about the fact 
>that they get no outside contributors, or they have to rewrite everything 
>that people offer them anyways, like that's some mark of success.  Isn't 
>it instead a competitive weakness?  If you have to invest everything 
>necessary to create a quality product, and all your service competitors 
>have to do is learn how your product works....

Yes, this seems like a considerable weakness.

So, it raises a great question: What inducements, credit, benefits, 
licensing terms etc. should firms provide to the broader developer 
community to encourage their participation?  Beyond openness, what levers 
do firms really have?