Before YouTube, Facebook, even MySpace, there was open source.

Open source software is the undergirding for the computer code that powers basically all of the technology we use today.

Working in Public uniquely describes the impact and culture of this world on our daily lives. From the book's second chapter:

The term "open source" refers only to how code is distributed and consumed. It says nothing about how code is produced. "Open source" projects have nothing more in common with one another than "companies" do. All companies, by definition, produce something of value that is exchanged for money, but we don't assume that every company has the same business model.

The Open Source culture is one of the most deeply entrenched in the internet because it's the culture of the people who build and maintain the internet — often thanklessly. There are all kinds of intricate details in how open source operates, like the idea of objective computer correctness often being the primary form of currency rather than other kinds of capital like reputation or cash.

There's a relevant xkcd comic that I always think of when talking about this book:

xkcd #2347: Dependency

Eghbal draws fascinating comparisons between the developers of platforms like GitHub and the creators of platforms like YouTube and, by looking to the decades-long history of open source, discovers frameworks that can help us understand the ways that people will work, create, and live in the future.

Get a copy of "Working in Public" from Amazon or Apple Books

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I really enjoyed Nadia's podcast interviews with Andreesen-Horowitz and David Perell.