The Four Stages of Free Software Adoption

Dave Neary also recently posted a really excellent article about what I summarise as the four stages of free software adoption:

It is madness to include a component in one of your products and exert no influence with upstream projects. To have influence, you must understand how the community around a project works. Someone within the team must become an active, trusted member of the community. … You are building products that you will be selling, supporting, and hopefully profiting from. In this situation, does it really make sense not to have the developer’s ear?
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The The Four Stages of Free Software Adoption by David Crossland, except the quotations and unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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