The Meaning of Open
left me thinking about how brilliant it is to drop the competitive
razor for a moment and consider the factors in communication that lead
to a company’s success.
Drive to Win, or Drive to Share
Jonathan Rosenberg, Senior Vice President, Product Management, Google writes in his screed:
We are often attacked for being too big, but sometimes being bigger allows us to take on the impossible.
All of this is useless, however, if we fail when it comes to being open. So we need to constantly push ourselves. Are
we contributing to open standards that better the industry? What’s
stopping us from open sourcing our code? Are we giving our users value,
transparency, and control? Open up as much as you can as often as you
can, and if anyone questions whether this is a good approach, explain
to them why it’s not just a good approach, but the best approach.
It is an approach that will transform business and commerce in this
still young century, and when we are successful we will effectively
re-write the MBA curriculum for the next several decades!
Jonathan may be talking about computer programmers and the engineers
that make Google tick, and produce amazing products, but this is
inspirational thinking. Why? Because he’s revealing the algorithm that
everyone pesters Google to reveal. And it’s not source code.
One common denominator that allows humans to bond is sharing.
It is not, as far as I have experienced, the relentless desire to
compete against each other. In the sum of it, the physics of
competition is less productive and more inefficient than sharing. Look
at how much energy single sprinters have to use to achieve that 10.4
seconds of glory? And then look at relay teams. Each putting out the
same amount of energy, or greater, but in the end, they go farther.
Having a Secret Sauce that Didn’t Need to be Invented
Google’s secret sauce, as far as I can see, is that the best
company is the company that acts like a human being. The seeds of a
good idea find the greatest climate for growing into an action plan or
a product when the person, or people, who conceive(s) the idea shares
it with another person or a team.
It’s important to create an environment where one person can talk to
many, or to another individual. That’s how growth happens. Another
human being is a great testing ground for a product. Without them, you
would have nobody to sell to.
I notice that many people must have this idea, too, but it is deployed
innately. I don’t know if they are thinking about it because they see
profit after the end of a conversation or a series of conversation.
They are doing it because that’s what you do with your friends, and
your colleagues. You share. You try to make them better.
When I walk through New York, there are always people telling
each other about deals. I hear them. They talk about pricing. They talk
about discovering sources. They talk about “competitors” who got into
such and such a situation, and the result. Why are they doing this?
Because they are active evolvers. They are evolving along with the
business community and the products it makes and sells. They are
eponymous. Business is eponymous for sharing. In a “fast company”
environment like New York City, sharing information is the quickest
route to a golden opportunity. It’s just natural sense.