On the ‘net: Nothing to Hide, Everything to Gain

The IETF Journal published an article by Shawn and I last week about open source, open standards, and participation by vendors and providers.

Why should a provider—particularly a content provider—care about the open standards and open source communities? There is certainly a large set of reasons why edge-focused content providers shouldn’t care about the open communities. A common objection to working in the open communities often voiced by providers runs something like this: Isn’t the entire point of building a company around data—which ultimately means around a set of processing capabilities, including the network—to hide your path to success and ultimately to prevent others from treading the same path you’ve tread? Shouldn’t providers defend their intellectual property for all the same reasons as equipment vendors?