Paul Graham on what business can learn from open source

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“Those in the print media who dismiss writing online because of its low average quality are missing an important point: no one reads the average blog. In the old world of channels it meant something to talk about average quality because that’s what everyone was getting whether they liked it or not. But now, now, you can read any writer you want. […] Nor is there anything new except for names and places in most ‘news’ about things going wrong. A child gets abducted. There’s a tornado. A ferry sinks. Someone gets bitten by a shark. A small plane crashes. And what do you learn about the world from these stories? Absolutely nothing. They’re outlining data points. What makes them gripping also makes them irrelevant. As in software, when professionals produce such crap, it’s not surprising that amateurs can do better.” — Paul Graham, OSCON 2005 (at about 9 minutes and then about 12 minutes).

Timeless wisdom that’s heartening to come across every so often.