OPEN SOURCE USA? No thank you.
Here at Gillian Executive Search we handle all of our technical needs in-house. Meaning, we design our own websites, on-line marketing, coding you name it. In order to do that you must have a relationship with what is known as “Open Source”. For those not familiar with the term “Open Source” I’ll give you a brief web-design history lesson and then moral the story so hang in there.
As programmers, coders and web-designers became increasingly in demand their ability to turn around multiple or larger and more complicated projects began to prove more and more difficult. Traditional programming/coding/designing required an abundance of skill and generated a finely tuned (in most cases) but uncustomizable product for the end consumer to purchase. In 1998 the OSI (or Open Source Initiative) was created and was/is dedicated to the promotion of open-source and mostly free software. The term “Open Source” is two-fold in its definition:
1. It means that the program (Module, Plug-in, Ap, Widget, Template, etc) itself is “open” and other programmers can augment or customize it to their own specific use. Thus saving them time from creating something similar from scratch
2. It’s generally free to the programming/coding/design world and public in general.
So in the past if you were paying a web designer to create a website that had a home page with a photo-slider or other media container (for example) the designer would have to create that product from scratch or “hard code” it and you could do little if anything to change it later on. This was time intensive on the programmer and cost them more money to create your desired product thus costing you more money. The popularity of the OSI grew as more and more designers/programmers/coders began to hatch “free” and open programs that they could just take off the OS shelf and use for their projects. This was a boon for designers everywhere since they could now work on multiple or larger projects and still charge the same amount as before. The customer on the other end never realizing that their programmer was taking free product from the OS world but charging them full price. Similar to the auto-mechanics of old charging you through the teeth for a part they took off an old car in the back. However, the end result was still a good looking website, program etc. as programmers now had access to more and more amazing products and were all eager to be cutting edge.
Here's the downside. At the beginning of any novel social experiment only the brightest and typically most well-meaning minds are at the helm. Steering what they believe will be a cult-of-personality that will create and take well designed programs and designs for free. Thus lowering the cost for consumer but still increasing the overall value to each individual’s design business.
We are now in 2016 and yes OS is very popular but rarely discussed over the conference table when you employ the service of a website or database design team. Costs for the designers are starting to rise again because though the utopian OS idea was that users should always provide quality free material when they take quality free material has started to break down. There were to many “takers” that didn’t give back to the small amount of quality “givers” that were trying to make this OPEN social experiment work. To many people around the country and around the world were eager to flock to and take from these Open Source networks without providing any value (monetarily or design oriented) in return. Soon the providing designers were forced to ask for donations because the time they spent trying to make this idea work was now eating into their own pocket. Statements like “If you like our product please donate whatever you can” linking to Paypal accounts became increasingly the norm on provider websites.
Now you can still get an amazing technically Open Sourced product from firms that charge you a fee for it. The free Open Sourced product has all but dwindled down to codes that can leave your website or database vulnerable to attack (intentionally and unintentionally) and product that trick you with limited versions so that you’ll purchase the real version. Why is this? It’s because the smart people who busted their ass to try to make the true OS a success realized that people who are willing to take it for free are generally never willing to contribute to the cause. They can’t expect to go broke while other less inclined and less motivate individuals feast freely from their hard work and make money off of it. The notion of “free OS” was utopian when there was a smaller and more respected network of designers, coders and programmers out there that were trying to help each other out. Now there are just far too many that contribute nothing but are more than willing to take from the system that provides for them. In the end the FREE OPEN SOURCE system doesn’t work. It was a great idea in theory but devolved back into the few capable needing to protect their intellectual property and wallets from the massive amount of leaches that plague our world today.
The MORAL: I feel in life you can always diagnose a large issue by looking at a smaller similar example that has all the same moving parts. I’m not thrilled about our election choices but I am motivated to reform the United States to stop being an Open Source with our intelligence, military, jobs, education, border and our tax payer dollars. Free systems like the EBT cards, Welfare and so on where designed with great intensions funded with tax pay dollars. The goal was/is to help those who can’t help themselves and that is a goal I’ll always support but the OPEN SOURCE USA that we’ve already become is one the helps those that can and should be responsible for themselves and it’s getting worse every day. Too many people are flocking to this because they know they can be paid to do it. Our government is willfully taking from minimizing the citizens who have created this great nation and giving our hard earned money to people who have done nothing more than show up and have no intention of giving back. We have enough problems with a pre-existing society extorting our broken systems for all the cash they can shake out of it. We can’t afford to be a white paper, fully customizable to every need, hacked society that expects people to put back what they take out if it. It just doesn’t work and even if it did work it would only breed complacency and an overall lack of human capacity that is not what this country is all about. Our government as traded in its true cause of leadership for popularity and votes.
This blog came to mind as I waited in line at a drug store to by sinus medication and saw a lady that was a fully capable human being buying whiskey and Twizzlers with an EBT card. This was bad enough until I saw her walk outside and hop into a relatively new Cadillac SUV. We put the money into her EBT card and she’s giving nothing back. The joke is on us. The really sad part is that our country has millions of people like this and because they’re able to get away with taking freely from those that bust their ass to make it in this world the rest of the ne’er-do-wells around the world are coming to get their handouts too.
This can’t last. All capable citizens of the United States (new, old whatever) should never be allowed to take if they don’t contribute back.
Gillian Executive Search is an executive Search Firm in Commercial Real Estate: Development, Construction Management, Architecture and other related fields.