Once again the French seem to be the most insightful in their understanding of globalisation, the economy and the direction in which capitalism is going driven by open source, peer-to-peer models of production. This excellent post by Bernard Maris (and translated by the priceless Leslie Thatcher) on the economic value of open source captures it in plain English;"How does it happen that extremely talented software engineers spend their time improving software for the collectivity, without receiving any remuneration for that work? Strange, no? ..... But how to measure this wealth? How to calculate all this knowledge due to voluntary cooperation? How to calculate all the knowledge and labor garnered in Wikipedia? It's pretty convenient to go on Wikipedia! And yet Wikipedia results from largely non-commercial work.
All this secret, hidden (open source software) GDP is based on cooperation. It's the immersed surface of the iceberg! While real GDP (proprietary software) is based on rivalry, exclusion, competition."
This is why I've always argued that organisations like Visa & Mastercard should quit spending their money on sponsoring the Olympics and actually go out there and do something useful like unlock trillions of dollars of economic value by building an open, micro-payment system that can be used by anyone. Perhaps even, dare I say it, create a new kind of community currency? So if any of you are reading this, let me be clear, for the avoidance of all doubt about the implications for your brand of doing something like this;
Open source models of production are about social interactions. When you become part of the social fabric of hundreds of millions of people, even the $2trillion per annum that are processed by your credit card networks will look like pocket change.
'Winning by sharing' is a state of cooperation between individuals, companies and nation states where there is a continuous fair exchange of value as opposed to the prevailing nature of business and government that is predicated on the notion of "I win, you lose".