User-generated open source products: Founder's social capital and time to product release

Girish Mallapragada, Rajdeep Grewal, Gary Lilien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Volunteer users employ collaborative Internet technologies to develop open source products, a form of usergenerated content, where time to product release is a crucial measure of project success. The open source community features two separate but related subcommunities: developer users who contribute time and effort to develop products and end users who act as collaborative testers and provide feedback. We develop hypotheses concerning how the location of the project's founders in the social network of developer users, the interplay of developer users and end users, and project and product characteristics affect time to product release. We use data on 817 development projects from SourceForge, a large open source community forum, to calibrate a split hazard model to test the hypotheses. That model supports the two-community conceptualization and most of the related hypotheses. The results have theoretical and managerial implications; for example, a pivotal position of founders in the developer user community can reduce time to product release by up to 31%, and projects in which users are more engaged can experience an 11% shorter time to product release compared with those projects in which they are not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-492
Number of pages19
JournalMarketing Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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