I just recently agreed to be a speaker at Joel Spolsky‘s Business of Software conference in September. I guess it is in some way returning a favor, as Joel gave a very memorable keynote at EclipseCon 2006.
The talk is going to be focused on providing a practitioner’s guide to software ecosystems, a concept we have been thinking a great deal about at the Eclipse Foundation. There is certainly literature on what business ecosystems (and innovation networks, which I am now starting to think of as a specialization of the ecosystem concept) are in theory, but relatively few experience reports on actually building and maintaining these things.
Given that the Eclipse Foundation is one of the only places I have ever heard of that has “…cultivate an ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities, and services…” right in the mission statement for the organization, I think we have an interesting viewpoint to bring to the conversation. There will be lessons drawn from Eclipse as I think that we’ve managed to build a pretty successful and interesting ecosystem, but mostly in blissful ignorance of the theory.