On June 8, 2007 Bruce Perens met a bunch of Italian bloggers in Rome to talk about open source.
The talk is very interesting: Bruce talks about his experiences developing open source software for big and conservative companies like Merryl Linch and other financial institutions and about the difference between differentiating and non-differentiating software.
The first one is what makes a company different from its competitors: it is the page rank for Google or the recommendation system for Amazon. The second one is every software used by the company and by its competitors for common tasks: word processors, application servers and so on. Differentiating software must be proprietary and the company should invest on it because it makes a difference. Non-differentiating software can be, or better, should be open source: in this way the company shares not only the code but also the investment to create it.