Collaboration vs. Competition: Who Wins and Who Loses?

Location: E145/E146
Average rating: ****.
(4.41, 17 ratings)

The American culture is uniquely competitive. We believe that competition is a good thing. There is a large body of sociological research that shows that competition is NOT good. Unfortunately, competition drives out collaboration. And so, the American competitive culture has co-opted much of the Open Source movement, and turned it into a marketing campaign. In the context of a culture which discourages collaboration and encourages competition — how can an Open Source culture of collaboration survive? We must look to our European (medieval) precursors — as well as our modern European and Asian colleagues — for lessons in building and modifying institutions to stifle competition. Only in this way can collaborative institutions, such as Open Source software, survive.

Photo of r0ml Lefkowitz

r0ml Lefkowitz


Robert (a/k/a r0ml) Lefkowitz is a vice president of information technology at Asurion, where he is responsible for infrastructure engineering. He previously held a similar role at AT&T Wireless. He is currently working on mastering the club juggling back-cross.

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Facebook
  • Rackspace Hosting
  • (mt) Media Temple, Inc.
  • ActiveState
  • CommonPlaces
  • DB Relay
  • FireHost
  • GoDaddy
  • HP
  • HTSQL by Prometheus Research
  • Impetus Technologies Inc.
  • Infobright, Inc
  • JasperSoft
  • Kaltura
  • Marvell
  • Mashery
  • NorthScale, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • OpSource
  • Oracle
  • Parallels
  • PayPal
  • Percona
  • Qualcomm Innovation Center, Inc.
  • Rhomobile
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • SourceGear
  • Symbian
  • VoltDB
  • WSO2
  • Linux Pro Magazine

Sponsorship Opportunities

For information on exhibition and sponsorship opportunities at the conference, contact Sharon Cordesse at

Download the OSCON Sponsor/Exhibitor Prospectus

Media Partner Opportunities

Download the Media & Promotional Partner Brochure (PDF) for information on trade opportunities with O'Reilly conferences or contact mediapartners@

Press and Media

For media-related inquiries, contact Maureen Jennings at

OSCON Newsletter

To stay abreast of conference news and to receive email notification when registration opens, please sign up for the OSCON Newsletter (login required)

OSCON 2.0 Ideas

Have an idea for OSCON to share?

Contact Us

View a complete list of OSCON contacts