Quantums of Open Source Communities

I have a deep fascination for quantum physics ever after reading Heisenberg‘s book Physics and Beyond (“Der Teil und das Ganze” in German) while graduating at high school.

For example, the concept of wave-particle dualism states that all matter exhibits both wave- and particle-like properties. Just imagine the next person you are talking to suddenly transforming into innumerable numbers of waves going right through you (The Matrix contains a similar scene).

Wave-particle dualism seems like a nice analogy to describe the core elements of Open Source communities. For example, interaction between OSS community members exhibits both monetary as well as reputational properties. Money is the particle of OSS communities, while reputation is the wave.

Quantums of Open Source Communities

Money and reputation can be regarded as the same “thing” which appears to us in two different properties. Both are a mean to value a person’s expertise. You get what you’re worth, either in terms of money (i.e. getting paid for your work), or in terms of reputation (i.e. being acknowledged as a valuable community member).

The dividing line between money and reputation is blurry, because money is another way of valuing reputation and building a reputation can seamlessly lead to making money.

The money-reputation-“thing” is a quantum, an indivisible entity of Open Source communities, a matter of economic and personal exchange forming the basis for The Wealth of Networks.

Find more Open Source marketing articles in my Wiki.

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