Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Freedom is a much powerful change agent than dictatorship!

This Sunday I watched again V for Vendetta, the comic written in 1982 by Alan Moore and David Lloyd and brought to the cinema by many of the filmmakers involved in the Matrix trilogy and directed by James McTeigue. If you like fiction, politics and films with a powerful message, you need to watch this movie. Here are some takeaways that I think perfectly apply to nowadays world of software:

1) Dictatorship tries to force what a reduced number of people believes is right. Freedom, on the contrary, gives choice to people and allows for new ideas to appear.
  • Dictatorship in the world of software is represented by any company that thinks that through 100% vendor centralized approach they can satisfy the needs of all clients. Don't you think that the world is too large to be able to accomplish this by only a single vendor?.
2) You are free when you really have a choice to decide and, sometimes, human beings forget about being true to what they really want.
  • There is too much FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) around software. Extensive FUD from proprietary vendors to open source projects. Some FUD from open source projects to proprietary vendors. At the end, users decide. Our role as IT professionals, regardless of what is our origin (proprietary or open source vendors), should be to ensure that users can decide freely without so much FUD generated and allowing to be honest about what they need and want. In that mindset, I am sure the right choice will always be made.
3) The power of freedom is in the community (and if not, watch the movie until the end: GREAT!) built by people/ organizations that have made their choice and join forces.
  • This is by far the most important idea that open source brings over the table. An open source project with a successful community will always win in competition against 100% centralized proprietary vendors. The change proprietary players need to push within their organizations to adapt to the new paradigm of collaboration sometimes breaks the principles in which they were created. This is what I like about Openbravo: we are strictly built on the principles of open collaboration with users, partners and individuals who can contribute their ideas at will. Our principles are built on top of our competitor's weakest points.
Finally, for the ones that have seen the movie, I love the sequence when the inspector has that feeling of "I know what is going on here", "everything is connected". I sometimes have the same feeling. And the feeling is great because is when you discover that all facts, feedback that you get from the community, partners, clients, VCs, employees,.. plus your own thoughts come along into building a disruptive model: the leading open source ERP movement. ;-)

Anyway, this is what I wanted to share with you from this weekend. If you have seen the movie or you see it, please don't forget to leave your comments here.

Long live to V!