First Monday

Letter to the Editor

Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 18:56:14 +0100
Subject: Timeliness

Dear Mr. Valauskas:

I must sincerely thank you for the latest issue of First Monday [March 1998] (and for all the ones before, that I read). Its publication could not come in a more timely fashion.

I personally found out about Mr. Raymond' s article only last week, when it was referenced to by the website. I thought this is the most relevant issue in modern IT industry. Not only. The way Netscape is implementing a mixed free-for-profit system of competing against the straight capitalistic Microsoft is the most outstanding "child" of the endeavors of Mssrs. Torvalds, Raymond and the like.

If this kind of experience, so far snotted upon as a freak experiment, can deliver true competitition in the home of the fiercest competitor ever existed in Corporate America, a lot more will be written on it. With some leap of faith, I am assimilating this moment as the first test of an emerging "third way" to do business that is neither "work for free" nor "ultimately capitalistic" in nature. There is great hope that adventures like Linux, Apache, Fetchmail, and now Netscape 5.0, will prove to be indeed more robust than any previous known form of organization of human work. We are at the dawn of a truly new era, and, by the time the first sociologists will start understanding the change, we will be completely submersed by it. Thank you for spreading the good "meme".

Excellent work indeed. Congratulations from a so far silent supporter of First Monday.

All the best

Vittorio Mischi
Counsellor for IT Development
World Economic Forum
53 Chemin des Hauts-Crêts
1223 Cologny - Geneva
Tel. +41/22/869 1444
Fax +41/22/786 2744

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