Taking without giving isn’t the problem. We need better open source contribution metrics.
Dana Blankenhorn’s recent ZDNet blog points to Accenture’s “hockey stick for open source” and notes that while 69 percent of the companies Accenture surveyed plan to increase their open source investment in the next year, only 29 percent plan to contribute back to the open source community. That sounds very plausible. But is it a problem? I’m not so sure.
The author’s commentary makes sense to me. Even if only 1/3 of companies plan to give back to the community – and do so with energy, commitment and imagination, that gives considerable oomph to the 29%. It’s always motivating to be connected with the people that ‘do’, vs. the people that ‘don’t’. And, focusing on the metrics that make sense, while doing the work.