Podcast: How to create open standards

Check out this post by Chris Saad about the open standards process. My comment was that it's not hard to do open standards, but you have to be prepared to give something up.

In this 22-minute rambling podcast I explain how to do it. You have to meet three criteria:

  1. You must have a hot product.

  2. You must have competitors wanting to enter your market.

  3. You have to be willing to compete without lock-in.

This is easy, but dangerous! You might lose the market.

I have had this experience, with XML-RPC, SOAP and RSS, and that's what I talk about in the podcast. The web, HTTP and HTML, also met all three criteria, and their creator Tim Berners-Lee, was happy to make the world a better place, because his invention, which made a lot of other people fantastically wealthy, did not earn him a fortune. He was very generous and I think had his priorities straight. We desperately needed what he had developed, and it's far from clear that the format and protocol of the web would have caught on had it been captured by a single company. Further, it's unlikely it would have attracted investment and without that, what chance would his ideas have had?

I also talk, briefly, about Medium, and my wish to have a service that does what it does without lock-in. I'm pretty sure we can do it. We just have to have the will to. I know Ev doesn't believe in free movement of users, well I'm not if that's it, but the service is a silo, and I'm still of the belief that users are smart, and eventually they will choose freedom over lock-in, esp if the cost is sufficiently low.

Last built: Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

By Dave Winer, Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM. Good for the environment.