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From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take-Off

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Author Info

  • Stefano Comino

    ()
    (University of Trento)

  • Fabio Manenti

    ()
    (University of Padua)

  • Marialaura Parisi

    ()
    (University of Brescia)

Abstract

Open source is an example of user-centric innovation initiated by an individual or group of users to satisfy their specific needs; the more a software evolves towards a stable release able to address the requirements of its developers, the more successful the project. In this paper we use a large data-set obtained from SourceForge.net to estimate the impact of observed project characteristics on the evolution of the source code from a preliminary release to its mature version. We show that while projects distributed under highly restrictive licensing terms (GPL) have a significantly smaller probability of reaching a stable release, applications towards sophisticated users have a larger probability of evolving in the development status. Interestingly, we find that the size of the community of developers increases the chances of progress but this effect decreases as the community gets larger, a signal of possible coordination problems. Finally, we show that the determinants of the development stage of older projects differ significantly from those of newer projects, thus supporting the common perception of open source as an extremely dynamic phenomenon.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno" in its series "Marco Fanno" Working Papers with number 0035.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0035

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References

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  1. Fershtman, Chaim & Gandal, Neil, 2004. "The Determinants of Output Per Contributor in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Examination," CEPR Discussion Papers 4329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Josh Lerner, 2005. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 20-56, April.
  3. Andrea Bonaccorsi & Silvia Giannangeli & Cristina Rossi, 2006. "Entry Strategies Under Competing Standards: Hybrid Business Models in the Open Source Software Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1085-1098, July.
  4. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
  5. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
  6. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
  7. Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti, 2005. "Government Policies Supporting Open Source Software for the Mass Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 217-240, December.
  8. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 12148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul A. David & Francesco Rullani, 2008. "Dynamics of innovation in an “open source” collaboration environment: lurking, laboring, and launching FLOSS projects on SourceForge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 647-710, August.
  3. Paul A. David & Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Micro-dynamics of Free and Open Source Software Development. Lurking, laboring and launching new projects on SourceForge," LEM Papers Series 2006/26, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core. How the Free/Libre/Open Source Software community enhances developers’ contribution," LEM Papers Series 2006/22, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Francesco Rullani, 2006. "Dragging developers towards the core," KITeS Working Papers 190, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Feb 2007.

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