Computers and Software

15 Results


Modularity for Value Appropriation--How to Draw the Boundaries of Intellectual Property

Many firms have adopted models of "open innovation," in which they seek ideas from external sources such as university labs, independent entrepreneurs, customers, and other companies. While such a business model has the potential to create value, the inherent intellectual property issues can be sticky. This paper discusses how companies can address these issues by adopting a system of modularity, wherein innovation in one part of a project will not require changes in all the other parts. Research was conducted by Joachim Henkel of Technische Universität München and Harvard Business School professor Carliss Y. Baldwin. Read More

Mixing Open Source and Proprietary Software Strategies

Open source and proprietary software development used to be competing strategies. Now software firms are experimenting with strategies that mix the two models. Researcher Gaston Llanes discusses recent research into these "mixed source" strategies. Read More

Securing Online Advertising: Rustlers and Sheriffs in the New Wild West

Online advertising remains a "Wild West" where users are faced with ads they ought not believe and where firms overpay for ads without getting the results they were promised. But it doesn't have to be this way. Enforcement by public agencies is starting to remind advertisers and ad networks that long-standing consumer protection rules still apply online. And as advertisers become more sophisticated, they're less likely to tolerate opaque charges for services they can't confirm they received. During the past five years, Edelman has uncovered hundreds of online advertising scams defrauding thousands of users, including all the Web's top merchants. This chapter summarizes some of what he has found and what users and advertisers can do to protect themselves. Read More

The Business of Free Software

Breaking with a largely proprietary tradition, large IT vendors have invested several billion dollars into open-source software development. What's their motivation? The observations presented in research by professor Marco Iansiti and coauthor Gregory L. Richards suggest some fundamental changes in strategy used by technology companies. Read More

New Research Explores Multi-Sided Markets

Dating clubs, credit cards, and video games are all examples of multi-sided markets, where firms need to get two or more distinct groups of customers on the same platform. Professor Andrei Hagiu discusses this new field of business research—and why it matters to you. Read More

Microsoft vs. Open Source: Who Will Win?

Using formal economic modelling, professors Pankaj Ghemawat and Ramon Casadesus-Masanell consider the competitive dynamics of the software wars between Microsoft and open source. Read our interview. Read More

The World in Your Palm?

Cell phones are cameras, too. Music players are photo albums, too. PDAs browse the Internet, too. A Cyberposium panel looks at the limits of convergence. Read More

Exploring the Structure of Complex Software Designs: An Empirical Study of Open Source and Proprietary Code

How does a product's design mirror the organization that develops it, and how does such a dynamic occur? To track the evolution of one design over time, this exploratory study compared software designs developed via different modes of organization-open source versus proprietary development. As it turned out, the architecture of the product developed by a highly distributed team of developers (Linux) was more modular than another product of similar size developed by a co-located team of developers (Mozilla). The study helped reveal potential performance tradeoffs from architectures with different characteristics. Read More

The Watsons: IBM’s Troubled Legacy

For over seventy years, Thomas Watson Sr. and Thomas Watson Jr. shaped and built IBM. In a new book, Professor Richard Tedlow explores the complex relationship between father and son. Read More

The Lessons of New-Market Disruption

Teradyne was successful. Hewlett-Packard was not. Professor Clark Gilbert writes about how two companies had such different results with disruptive innovation. Read More

The Organizational Model for Open Source

A surprising entity has emerged to protect the interests of open source software developers: the non-profit foundation. HBS professor Siobhán O'Mahony discusses this emerging organizational model. Read More

Andy Grove on the Confident Leader

Intel’s famous chairman discusses decision making, intuition, and corporate governance with professor Clayton M. Christensen and Harvard Business School Publishing Editorial Director Walter Kiechel. Read More

Why Evolutionary Software Development Works

What is the best way to develop software? HBS professor Alan MacCormack discusses recent research proving the theory that the best approach is evolutionary. In this article from MIT Sloan Management Review, MacCormack and colleagues Marco Iansiti and Roberto Verganti uncover four practices that lead to successful Internet software development. Read More

More Than the Sum of Its Parts: The Impact of Modularity on the Computer Industry

The "power of modularity," write HBS Dean Kim Clark and Professor Carliss Baldwin in their new book, rescued the computer industry from a problem of nightmarish proportions and made possible remarkable levels of innovation and growth in a relatively short period of time. Read More

The Simple Economics of Open Source

What motivates thousands of computer programmers-and even the companies that employ them-to share their code with the world? The growing use of so-called "open source" software may not seem, at first glance, to make much economic sense. But according to research by HBS Professor Josh Lerner and his colleague Jean Tirole, economics may actually help explain why open source works as well as it does. Read More