Open source: the future economy?
When people asked Captain Kirk of Star Trek how much he got paid for his job, he answered that in the future, we don't use money any more _ people just work for the betterment of mankind. The concept puzzled me from an economics perspective. But having observed the open-source movement in the IT realm, I am starting to comprehend one direction that the economy of the future might take.
The concept of open-source starts from a small person who creates a small software product. He then releases the product with the source code and issues a licence to allow anybody else to take the product, study the source code, add features, fix bugs and re-release better and better products. Most of these people don't get direct reimbursement for their efforts.
Thousands of developers around the world join the collaborative development in their spare time. The result? The product gets improved at an astonishing speed that is no match for any commercial product. With thousands of eyes watching for bugs and thousands of hands writing codes at the same time all over the world, the combined effort is unbelievable.