Technology companies are banding together to co-develop and set guidelines for open source software.  They are working under the banner of TODO — Talk Openly: Develop Openly.  Put this effort under “Hope Springs Eternal.”  Historically competitors have failed at collaboration because of fears that someone might gain an edge in the marketplace before they do.  In other words, they are more concerned about the short-term injury to themselves than long-term benefit to the public.  It takes leadership from the top to make collaborations successful.  The CEO has to dampen fears of what other companies will do and rein in impulses in his own company to steal a march on others.  PR supports the idea of better user experience and software that works on any platform.  It is better customer relations, and it removes a major headache for owners of multiple devices from different companies.  However, it can reduce hardware to a commodity if companies fail to innovate within the platform standard.  Think of an electric plug.  In America, we think nothing of it today because the three-prong plug is standard.  Go to Europe, however, and you will encounter multiple plugs depending on the country.  The cost of that lack of standardization is a headache for manufacturers and users.  So, here’s to TODO.  ”May the odds ever be in its favor.”

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