The FIFA World Player and Open Source

On the 21st December the 2009 FIFA World Player awards will be given. There are 5 nominees in for the male award:

Lionel Messi , Andres Iniesta and Xavi. all play for Barcelona FC. In fact, they all come from within the youth ranks. They have all been part of the same training school and largely have cost very little to Barcelona.

Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo. This are the big signings of Real Madrid during the last summer, with a total invesment exceeding 170 million euros.

Whatever happens on 21st December, it is clear that there is something broken with Real’s “BUY TALENT” approach. During summer, it was argued that this was a short term tactic and that it would pay back straight away. However, Madrid has already gone from one competition this year (Spanish Copa del Rey) and lost the first “El Clasico” of the season agauinst Barcelona (in the “Camp Nou”). Ultimately, a wining side needs more than a bunch of talented players. It needs a team.

When it comes to Open Source  the team is the community. The lesson here is that there is no shortcut to creating a vibrant community, you need to do it right.  Open sourcing brillinant code alone will not build a great community, but good community behaviour that invites and values contributions must go side by side with it.

Sometime back in july, I wrote my views on how the Spanish Football Transfer Market and why the results of last season provided a good argument on why open source is a succesful model to developement winning products. I still believe this is true.

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