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Standards Organizations Not A Panacea

Joi Ito quotes Irving Wladawsky-Berger the Vice President of Technical Strategy and Innovation of IBM:

If a crunch comes between the interests of the shareholders and interests of the community, a business has to choose the interests of the shareholders. A business creating a standard that it controls and says is "open" and that people should "trust them" is not robust from that perspective. Business should prevent itself from getting into these situation. Working with neutral professional organizations makes it impossible for such conflicts to corrupt the process and is key to good open standards.

Irving Wladawsky-Berger’s definition of Open Standards 17 Jan 2006, Joi Ito’s blog

The IBM VP makes a good point about potential conflict between open standards and shareholder value. And Joi rightly applauds him for making it.

However, standards bodies are not a panacea for all ills of openness.

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