The TA publishing model applied to an imaginary software company

The Price of Knowledge (about OA, from the University of Edinburgh’s magazine EuSci, Jan 2009, via the Neuronism blog). Excerpt:

I’ve set up a computer software company with a twist. Instead of going the usual route and hiring a team of programmers to develop my new applications, I solicit the public for them. On top of that, I don’t offer a penny. Regardless, people race to give me their brightest ideas before their friends can beat them to it. This allows me to cherry-pick the products I think will make the biggest impact on the marketplace. Of course, even the best submissions need a bit of polishing before they’re fit for general distribution. No problem. I just get a few of their amateur programming buddies to do the debugging for me – free of charge, obviously. All that’s left to do is package the software up and sell it right back to the masses. Easy money.

Of course the company I’ve just described is entirely fictional. Its business model, however, is not. It is exactly the strategy employed by many publishers of academic journals. …

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For additional excerpts, see: Another intro to OA, Peter Suber, Open Access News, March 8, 2009.


1 Comment »

  1. Hi Jim,

    Scott Aaronson used the same analogy in 2007 and I think he did it better,

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