Networked Entrepreneurs: How Entrepreneurs Leverage Open Source Software Communities
In the contemporary economy work is increasingly becoming freelance based and is also moving online. Open source software communities (OSS) are rapidly becoming arenas in which individuals identify, co-create, and realize opportunities through shared resources and expertise. Operating in a communal setting, these individuals, who we label open entrepreneurs, work and collaborate with members of their own open source community. We aim to investigate how open entrepreneurs are connected to other members of the communities in which they are involved and how their networks affect entrepreneurial processes. We are particularly interested in understanding how networked work benefits open entrepreneurs and how they work and collaborate with other community members. Our results suggest that open entrepreneurs through different types of networked work, not only can fulfill their profit motive in the short term but also in the long term as these networking activities facilitate the overall functioning of the community.