Open Companies Will Change the World

Jun 30, 2017 · 3 min read

“Open” companies can and will change the world. A massive shift is happening. Those that are open will have a bigger impact than those that are closed.

First, let’s define “open”. Open is accessible, free, and available. Open is choice, flexibility, freedom and liberty.

Lots of things can be open. Open source software is free and available for anyone to use. The Internet opens up free-flowing information. Some people are open minded, creating opportunity for them. An open door policy invites communication. Open software platforms such as Android provide flexibility. Open Access policies such as that by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, enables unrestricted access to all research and data.

Why will open companies change the world? Simple: people want choice and freedom. People are like snowflakes: they are all unique. People have unique needs and need choice to address those varied needs. People seek out companies that are open and will move away from companies are closed and limit their choices.

Some companies are realizing this and are thriving. Facebook is a free product that opens up the world by connecting people, and has many open APIs for many companies to integrate with. Google opens up web and other data for free access, as well as opens up a ton of their data and services to other companies. Slack also has opened up to many integrations to share data with. Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel and others have created the OpenAI non-profit artificial intelligence research company. Facebook, Google and Slack are some of the most popular and fastest-growing companies. People want the accessibility and availability that those companies offer.

Open is clearly a movement, moving companies in the right direction. How can companies take advantage of open? Companies can open in many ways, including:

  • Integrations: open 3rd parties integrations make products more valuable. Great benefit can come from multi-channel integrations. For example, integrations can enable companies to sell their products easily through eBay, Facebook, Google and other marketplaces. The combination and data synchronization can be powerful.
  • App markets: new apps are a great way to provide and open and easy choice of new functionality.
  • Partnerships: companies with large open partner ecosystems can offer so much more to the customer, such as new seamless products and services.
  • Support: increasing the number of ways that you allow customers to access your team and information improves the customer experience. Consider opening new knowledge sharing, such as a knowledge base or real-time chat.
  • Communications: companies are opening communication, such as during the pre-sale process. Leveraging social media is a good way to get started.
  • Events: companies that facilitate innovation events such as open hackathons tend to be more innovative and hire stronger developers.
  • Research: insights from internal research can be opened, allowing for much greater collaboration and innovation.
  • Code: consider opening up your code on GitHub for others to access. This is a great opportunity for you to benefit from developers contributing to your code base.

These are just a few examples of how companies can open up. There are many others.

It’s clear: open is critical. It’s the way of the future. People demand it. Companies have to move to open to thrive. Closed companies are having a diminishing impact and won’t survive. At Ecwid, we strongly believe in open: #OpenE-Commerce

Open companies will change the world. Are you open?

About the Author

Erik Suhonen is the Head of Product Marketing at Ecwid


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