Open Sourcing Startups – by “Nicholas R”

Given the demonstrated benefits of collective collaboration and intelligence for everything from Wikipedia to Firefox, it seems that startups could benefit from more active feedback throughout their early stages. Websites like FeedbackArmy.com, Launchly.com, StartUpLift.com, and InviteShare.com are essentially startups to help startups startup by connecting entrepreneurs with potential users who provide advice, criticism, and general feedback (while also showcasing the sites). Enthusiasts get to view nascent startups develop and potentially adapt based on their responses, while entrepreneurs who take advantage of these services are able to get easy feedback and attention without adding staff or sacrificing equity.

In the secretive, NDA world of startups and venture capital, protecting intellectual property is key, but as Graham notes in this week’s reading, the execution is more important than the idea. In an era where both the most novice YouTube poster and the most acclaimed New York Times journalist now receive immediate feedback on their work through comments from many diverse users, why shouldn’t rapidly evolving businesses do the same? Ultimately, creating open source products will improve code and usability, but issues over how to monetize open source models are still too large. Until then, the increasing number of platforms for entrepreneurs to receive instantaneous reviews is a promising start.

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