Awesome Reading: Open Companies

A rare archaeological find at GitHub by fumi

I’ve been reading about a couple of open companies, GitTip and Balanced Payments.

Both of these companies have taken what might be considered extreme approaches. Open sourcing just about everything required to run their companies. But it’s more than that. All the issues and discussions about running the companies take place in public as well. That gives an amazing level of transparency, and encourages so much community participation.

I found about about Balanced Payments through Steve Klabnik’s announcement that he would be partnering (employed by) Balanced Payments. This led to a bunch of other urls.

The first, was a pull request that Balanced Payments made on GitTip. Solving their problem regarding the need for a new payment provider. This is a powerful action to promote both Balanced Payments, but also a statement about how well being open is working for GitTip

Moving on from there, I decided to look into the how and why of Balanced Payments decision to be open. The CEO, Matin Tamizi, has shared a lot of his reasoning in a article on Fast Company: Labs and also in the GitHub produced OctoTales.

There is more information in the blog post announcing the decision, and also a page dedicated to explaining the ‘Open Company’ philosophy.

Of course, a lot of the thinking that has gone into making Balanced an open company comes from interacting with Chad Whitacre, the founder of GitTip, so it’s worth delving into his thinking on the subject. Which you can do by reading his excellent posts “The First Open Company” and “The Second Open Company”

I’m not sure about the assertion that GitTip is the first(or second) ‘Open Company’, but it’s certainly and interesting concept to explore further.

Of course you couldn’t finish a blog post like this without talking about GitHub itself and the influence it has had on the community. Both by being very transparent (if not entirely open), and in the building of tools that allows this kind of openness and collaboration.