Open-Source Product Development

The Boston Globe's Hiawatha Bray reports today on the increasing importance of "modders" to the video game industry. Avid video gamers have been modifying their favorite games to incorporate new weapons, enable character crossover, and change settings for quite some time. At Fast Company, we've even developed a mod map so some staff can play Unreal Tournament in a mockup of the Boston satellite office.

But it's not all fun and games. A mod of the hit game Half-Life — Counter-Strike — became one of the world's most popular online games. How open is your product development process? Do you let customers modify your products and services to better meet their needs? How do you harness those improvements and redirect them to other customers? Open source isn't just for software development any more.

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