The readings for this week are:

  1. King of the Ball


In this week's readings, Linus Torvalds discusses the early days of Linux and how it grew into an overnight success:

The announcement launched Linux into the above-the-radar zone in Finland, and it started generating publicity elsewhere, too. A lot of the early headlines came about because some journalist had stumbled over Linux and got excited about it... It was far more attention than I had expected initially.

For this upcoming week, you are to consider the following questions as you perform the readings and participate in class:

  1. What sort of growing pains did Linus Torvalds face in the early days of Linux and how did he deal with them?

  2. Linus Torvalds views himself as somewhat counter-cultural in that he disagreed with the typical mindset present in Silicon Valley over issues such as work-life balance and job stability. Discuss these differences and how Linus Torvalds differed with both Bill Joy and Steve Jobs on various issues related to open source and operating systems..

  3. Finally, discuss how Linus Torvalds dealt with success. How does he define success in regards to Linux?

Note, you should not simply list the questions and answer each one directly. Instead, the questions are there to help you brainstorm about the question:

What do you make of Linux's success? Is it proof of the power of hackers in the bazaar? Or was it simply a matter of fortunate circumstances? Will there ever be another open source success story as big as Linux?