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Linux Foundation Interviews Mark Shuttleworth

Jim Zemlin interviews Mark Shuttleworth for the Linux Foundation.

It’s a very thorough and valuable interview. A few choice quotes:

Shuttleworth on his decision to start Ubuntu: “I had sort of assumed that Linux would power ahead to become more part of the every day sort of computing experience and when I saw the folks who were driving Linux at the time in 2004 weren’t really interested in taking Linux to the mass market, I thought there was an opportunity to do that… And that then led to the genesis of Ubuntu.”

Shuttleworth also explains what he thinks it takes to create a successful open source community: “If you look at the projects that are successful, that produce inspiring work and that produce it predictably and address issues and manage change well, I think they do two things very well and the first is, obviously, they have very good technical leadership.

“Whether that comes from a company, whether it comes from an individual or whether it comes from a collection of individuals, it’s really important that there be a meritocratic process of letting the best thinker, the best idea, the best work effectively bubble to the top.

“But they also do something else and that is that they manage a very positive social process. I think the best projects recognize that they have to maintain really constructive, positive relationships internally and with other projects if they want to continue to have really good ideas and get really good input.”

Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu project has mastered both sides of the open source coin, and it shows in the quality of Ubuntu releases and the enthusiasm community members and Ubuntu users share for the software.

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