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Permanently Beta: Responsive Organization in the Internet Era

How has the process of technological change in the Internet era influenced the way we organize economic activities?  In this chapter we discuss how information technologies foster the emergent design and user-driven design of websites and other online media, as well as products and organizations off-line. A cycle of testing, feedback and innovation facilitates ongoing negotiations around what is made and how to organize making it. We call the organizational state of flux that emerges from these negotiations Permanently Beta. Beta testing, open source software, and interactive communities manifest aspects of permanently beta organization. The instability associated with being permanently beta is not without social costs, but it may present opportunities for organizing broader participation in the design of products and organizations.

Link To Full Chapter.

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