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

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio M. Manenti

    (Università di Padova Italy)

  • Stefano Comino

    (Università di Trento Italy)

  • Marialaura Parisi

    (Università di Brescia Italy)

Abstract

Thanks to a recent and vast empirical literature, we know in details how the most popular open source projects are organized and why they succeed. However open source is not only Linux: in this paper we use a large data-set obtained from SourceForge.net to estimate the main determinants of the progress in the development of a stable and mature code of an open source software. We show that projects geared towards sophisticated users (i.e. system administrators) or projects aimed at developing tools for the Internet, multimedia and software have greater chances to reach an advanced development stage. On the contrary, projects devoted to the production of applications for games and telecommunication as well as projects distributed under highly restrictive licensing terms (GPL) have a significantly smaller probability to advance. 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 projects' development stage change with the age of the project in many dimensions thus supporting the common perception of open source as an extremely dynamic phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio M. Manenti & Stefano Comino & Marialaura Parisi, 2005. "From Planning to Mature: on the Determinants of Open Source Take-Off," Industrial Organization 0507006, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 29 Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0507006
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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. 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.
    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. 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.
    8. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Comino, Stefano & Manenti, Fabio M., 2011. "Dual licensing in open source software markets," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 234-242.
    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. Stephen M. Maurer & Suzanne Scotchmer, 2006. "Open Source Software: The New Intellectual Property Paradigm," NBER Working Papers 12148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Sherae Daniel & Ritu Agarwal & Katherine J. Stewart, 2013. "The Effects of Diversity in Global, Distributed Collectives: A Study of Open Source Project Success," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 24(2), pages 312-333, June.
    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.
    9. 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.
    10. Pankaj Setia & Balaji Rajagopalan & Vallabh Sambamurthy & Roger Calantone, 2012. "How Peripheral Developers Contribute to Open-Source Software Development," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 23(1), pages 144-163, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    software market; open source software; development status; intended audience; license;

    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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