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

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti & Marialaura Parisi, 2007. "From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take-Off," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0035, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0035
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    File URL: http://economia.unipd.it/sites/decon.unipd.it/files/20070035.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Stefano Comino & Fabio Manenti, 2005. "Government Policies Supporting Open Source Software for the Mass Market," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(2), pages 217-240, December.
    7. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
    8. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kummer, Michael & Slivko, Olga & Zhang, Michael, 2015. "Economic downturn and volunteering: Do economic crises affect content generation on Wikipedia?," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-078, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 12148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. Comino, Stefano & Manenti, Fabio M., 2011. "Dual licensing in open source software markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 234-242.
    6. 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.
    7. Wang, Jing, 2012. "Survival factors for Free Open Source Software projects: A multi-stage perspective," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 352-371.
    8. 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.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment

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