Open Source for Business and Communities
Monday June 13th 2011, 18:24h
Filed under: FLOSS, Linux, Research

Promising times for open source: During the last two weeks I had two opportunities to talk about open source in two different European capital cities.

First I spoke in Vienna at the OSS BIG (Open Source Software Business Information Group) Conference about Ernst & Young’s new open source brochure “Open Source Software in Business-Critical Environments”.

Last week I was invited to Red Hat’s EMEA Partner Summit in Dublin to talk about “Doing the Impossible: Managing Open Source Communities”. I even got the honor to be interviewed by the legendary Linux Outlaws on my open source lobbying work and more things (46.4 MB MP3 or 50.6 MB OGG, starting at 1:12:08).

Presenting Nokia’s open source involvement and much more
Friday June 25th 2010, 12:08h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Linux, Research

Today I gave a talk at TransferSummit 2010 in Oxford on the Nokia Internet Tablet development (breaking news: “Nokia N-series devices to drop Symbian in favour of MeeGo”), Private-Collective Model of Innovation, benefits and cost of open source community building, the open source adoption matrix and ‘open-washing’ questions to firms.

The audience liked my speech but especially loved the Prezi-way of presenting it. That’s the backdraw with such innovative presentation technologies: The form becomes more important than the content ;)

USUSv2 - Linux for the People
Sunday October 25th 2009, 20:32h
Filed under: Linux, Research, Ubuntu

Amadeus Wittwer had the great idea to make a short documentation about regular computer users being put in front of a Linux machine - without being told that it’s Linux (it’s the Ubuntu Netbook Remix). Have a look at the great experiment:

The official press release starts like this:

Die Alternative zu Windows 7: Schweizer Doku-Clip über Linux
Alle Welt spricht von Windows 7. Wer weiss jedoch, wie ein aktueller Linux Desktop aussieht? Ein Filmteam aus der Schweizer Open Source Szene ging dieser Frage nach. Das Resultat zeigt, dass Linux durchaus eine Alternative zu proprietären Betriebssystemen darstellt.

Read the full press release on USUSv2.

Digital Sustainability at OpenExpo 2009 Winterthur
Monday September 28th 2009, 23:25h
Filed under: FLOSS, Linux, Politics

This year I had the honor to do the keynote speech at OpenExpo, ‘my own event’ ;)

(Just for the record: I didn’t nominate myself, it was Hannes who asked me to speak and also he invented this bragging title!)

Digitale Nachhaltigkeit in der Schweiz – ein Bericht zur Lage der Nation
Die parlamentarische Gruppe Digitale Nachhaltigkeit fördert den nachhaltigen und innovativen Umgang mit Informations- und Kommunikationstechnologien (ICT) und setzt sich ein für den öffentlichen Zugang zu Wissensgütern. Diese und andere Initiativen stellen sicher, dass in der Schweiz das Engagement für eine nachhaltige und offene IT gerade in der Rezession nicht blosses Lippenbekenntnis bleibt.

Ubuntu Comic
Wednesday April 22nd 2009, 13:39h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, Linux, Ubuntu

In case you want to learn how to convince your fellows installing Ubuntu, have a look at this great Japanese comic - translated completely with open source software only! (source files)


Maemo Paper Presented in 1min
Tuesday February 03rd 2009, 20:12h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Linux, Research

Usually I’m not really camera-shy, but in the case of our SMI video abstracts Stefan had to push me almost three years until I finally did my first recording this afternoon. So here it is, the short 1min teaser for our new paper “Extending Private-Collective Innovation: A case study” soon to be published in R&D Management!

Authors: Matthias Stuermer, Sebastian Spaeth, and Georg von Krogh (all ETH Zurich)

Abstract: The private-collective innovation model proposes incentives for individuals and firms to privately invest resources to create public goods innovations. Such innovations are characterized by non-rivalry and non-exclusivity in consumption. Examples include open source software, user-generated media products, drug formulas, and sport equipment designs. There is still limited empirical research on private-collective innovation. We present a case study to 1) provide empirical evidence of a case of private-collective innovation, showing specific benefits, and 2) to extend the private-collective innovation model by analyzing the hidden costs for the company involved. We examine the development of the Nokia Internet Tablet, that builds on both proprietary and open source software development, and that involves both Nokia developers and volunteers who are not employed by the company. Seven benefits for Nokia are identified, as are five hidden costs: difficulty to differentiate, guarding business secrets, reducing community entry barriers, giving up control, and organizational inertia. We examine actions taken by the management to mitigate these costs throughout the development period.

Change EXIF Date of Photographs
Wednesday January 28th 2009, 12:37h
Filed under: FLOSS, Linux, Ubuntu

Have you ever forgotten to adjust the clock in your camera resulting in wrongly dated photographs? Here’s what I did to correct the time applying the hints of Al Fish by using exiv2:

exiv2 -a 1:02:03 -D 4 -O 5 -Y 6 ad *.jpg

This adds 1 hour, 2 minutes, 3 seconds, 4 days, 5 months and 6 years to the EXIF date of all JPGs in a folder.

Visiting University of Göttingen
Friday October 17th 2008, 0:35h
Filed under: Development Cooperation, ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Linux, Private, Research

At the moment I’m visiting Göttingen on a short two-day trip. Tobias Lechtenfeld, a longtime colleague whom I got to know during my US high school year in 1997, invited me to University of Göttingen to present at the cege Research Seminar. The presentation of our Nokia paper with a focus on the Private-Collective model of innovation went well, the participants asked a lot of interesting questions such as “Doesn’t the community feel betrayed if Nokia earns a lot of money once they found the killer application through the Maemo community?”

At tonight’s dinner of the starting PhD seminar on development research I got the chance to talk to Clive Bell, one of the most renowned economists in the field of HIV research. Getting to know his biography I’m very impressed how he successfully managed the move from credit market to HIV research! And interestingly, his newest publications are mostly in collaboration with Hans Gersbach of ETH Zürich.

Tobi, Prof. Clive Bell, Jan and myself
Tobi, Prof. Clive Bell, Jan and myself

Nice students city Göttingen
Nice students city Göttingen

Tobi writing his PhD papers on Vulnerability in Southeast Asia in collaboration with Felix Povel
Tobi writing his PhD papers on Vulnerability in Southeast Asia in collaboration with Felix Povel

OSiM and Maemo Summit in Berlin
Friday September 19th 2008, 18:33h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Linux, Research

Back in Europe I’m in Berlin for two days attending the Open Source in Mobile conference and the first Maemo Summit. Although the timing is little bit bad because of next week’s OpenExpo and Hackontest I’m organizing the trip to Germany was worth the effort: I got to meet many interesting people (among them Ken Banks of, an innovative mobile phone service for developing countries), gathered over 30 responses for our new survey in the Maemo community and tried to recruit cool keynote speakers for OpenExpo’s in 2009. The night train to Bern leaves in two hours, so let’s go party within the Maemo community till then ;)

Meeting in the hotel lobby with Sean Moss-Pultz, CEO of Openmoko Inc.

Ari Jaaksi, head of Open Source Software @ Nokia, talking at the Maemo Summit

Learnings from Open Source Communities: Code Reuse and Motivation
Thursday May 29th 2008, 12:42h
Filed under: ETH Zürich, FLOSS, Linux, Research

Yesterday I gave a new talk at Reto Hartinger’s Internet Briefing Software Development Conference in the Zurich World Trade Center. It was fun talking as social scientist to a technical audience. The intense discussion about open source, motivations of contributors and much more after the presentation showed that the audience was not too much bored by my academic elaboration. Using the (unfortunately proprietary) service Slideshare with its Slidecast feature one can listen to the talk (MP3) while following the slides (PDF):

Code Reuse, Motivation, Koordination, Kollaboration: Was Entwicklerteams von Open Source Communities lernen können

Software-Unternehmen entwickeln und verkaufen erfolgreich umfangreiche Informatik-Lösungen und koordinieren dafür grosse Entwickler-Teams. Dennoch kommen die meisten kommerziellen IT-Projekte nicht an die Zahl von beteiligten Personen in Communities von Open Source Projekten heran. Matthias Stürmer fasst Forschungsergebnissen sowie praktischen Erfahrungen mit Open Source Projekten zusammen, um aufzuzeigen, wie diese scheinbar unorganisierten Programmierer-Gruppen funktionieren.und was Firmen von ihnen lernen können.

Diese Best Practices aus Open Source Projekten:

- Software-Wiederverwendung
- modulare Entwicklung
- Community Building,
- Motivierung und Einbindung von externen Programmierern
- Anreizsysteme für unbezahlte Beitragende