Is Your Development Proudly Found Elsewhere?

“Proudly Found Elsewhere” is the research and development mantra of Procter and Gamble, one of the worlds largest consumer products companies. The company boasts 7,500 scientist dedicated to R&D, focused on finding new innovations, new breakthroughs, and new products for P&Gs consumer products lines. Yet, 50% of their lines of business which generate more than $1 billion in revenues came from innovations outside of P&G. As the Harvard Business Review reported, it became a simple matter of math: 200 smart engineers who did not work for P&G for every one that did.

Many companies suffer from the myopia of the “not invented here” syndrome. They cannot come to grips with the idea that they cannot possibly accomplish everything internally and that the best ideas come from solutions other than the “in house” solution. They often get passed by and build the products and provide the services that experienced a peak shown many annual reports before.

This happens to large IT departments as well. These organizations believe that they can build a custom application for every need of the business. Rather than utilizing the knowledge and expertise of others, they fall prey to the notion that if they didnt build it, it cant be good. Instead of using a few external resources with specific knowledge and stitching together existing tools and platforms in a few months, these departments drive their developers into a quixotic quest to build the perfect application from scratch.

As of today, there are 159,599 registered projects, and, more importantly, 1,698,785 registered users on SourceForge. While not all of them are developers, many are. How many organizations offer a development staff even an order of magnitude less than 1.7 million? Perhaps the United States government, and certainly not a commercial organization. Fail to leverage that base of innovation at your own risk.

As for us, we would rather stand on the shoulders of giants and use the innovation and work of others and craft it to our own needs than to tilt at windmills and try to build it all ourselves.

About OpenSource Connections

OpenSource Connections is a custom development consulting group that provides enterprise-level support for open source solutions. Focusing on convergent information systems, OpenSource Connections helps companies find ways to optimize information and resources.

Our team consists of industry-recognized experts in the areas of open source and Agile Development methodology. OpenSource Connections was instrumental in the development of major open source systems such as Apache, Maven, and Ant. We also train in the area of Agile development methodology – an approach that improves software project results through team interaction. OpenSource Connections received a 2005 Webbie award for superior website design and integration.