Cooperative development

I have always had an enthusiasm for open source software. My current project has made use of Inkscape extensively. In addition just yesterday I finally changed over to using Linux, something I have wanted to to for a while. With the power of pair programming becoming apparent to me through time at makers academy I am getting more interested in collaborative creating.

I though it was time to share a few collaborative platforms I have been following with interest. Agile Ventures, Joltem and Quirky. All three are very different ventures but show a small part of a collaborative future that is emerging.

Agile Ventures describes themselves as “Crowdsourced project development and learning to code” This site explores collaboration and pair programming to help with learning and particularly to develop non-profit projects. I think it is a great idea encouraging students to work on real projects can only be beneficial. Pair programming is not difficult but starting to program remotely with people you do not know can be intimidating This venture seams to be a very friendly introduction to this with advice on such things as pair programming protocols. Obviously the organisations that are recipients of these efforts stand to gain hugely. 

Joltem is an open incubator with mission to allow people to “openly collaborate to build and launch a start-up” With a succinct tag-line like that more explanation of the idea is surely needed. Aiming to further lower the barriers to beginning a start-up this site allows people to come together to build the a start-up without being in partnership. Projects are started and state the work that is needed. Other users of the site offer solutions to these problems and if/when the solutions are included then they are rewarded with a stake in the company. The most fascinating thing about this site is that currently they are using the same principles to build the site itself. So far this method is completely unprovoked with the Joltem project the first experiment. 

It seams, to me, like it could be a great platform for peoples moonshot projects. Those that have a small chance of success but a core group of supports keen to see it succeed and happy to risk their time to try. 

Quirky is a site to develop product ideas. A little different from the other two it is the site I have know about the longest. It also has the firmest track record. This site is not focused on software collaboration but in getting input from users in developing physical products. These user are know as influencers. Making physical product the economics are understandably different. Influencers are rewarded with a share of sales rather than equity. So far project are all in broadly the same style and capability. Products are useful or cunning gizmos, mostly made from plastic. However if the company grows then I would assume that there ability to take on ambitions projects will increase as well.