A small selection of data points:
- Hardware has long been a commodity, like electricity and transportation; now, with open source, software is becoming a commodity as well, which is the natural consequence of the cost structure (high development costs, zero duplication/distribution costs)
- New competitive advantage to be gained not from the software itself, but from innovation in software, such as clever use of open source software, like Amazon, Google. (Tim O'Reilly, the Open Source paradigm shift, http://tim.oreilly.com/opensource/).
- "The Internet was the first new tool to help convene group conversations since the invention of the table" (Clay Shirky, http://www.gbn.org/ArticleDisplayServlet.srv?aid=2800).
- The current trend in social software is just a direct extension of a long string of killer apps: The telephone, email, cell phones, text messaging (SMS), groupware, blogs, dating, social networking -- it's not the information society, it's the network society ... network of people, human beings. It's about the people, not the technology.
I'd love to see a mission statement that embraces these trends, and explains how OpenACS fits in this picture.