Open Source Research
The Open Source model is clearly having an effect on software. Take a look at the browser market share post for an example of what’s going on.
Clearly the open source model could be applied to many other businesses. Blogging is partially about an "open source" approach to media.
One that I am watching is the wall street research area. Could traditional research be suplemented, or possibly even replaced, by an open source model.
It’s too early to tell. We need tools for distribution, collaboration, rating, reputation, commerce (just because its open doesn’t mean it has to be free), and communication to make this work. And for the most part, they don’t exist.
Wikis and blogs are some of the tools that are discussed when people talk about this stuff. They are a possibilities, but I am not sure they are the entire answer.
An early effort to watch is the Mosaic Equity Research initiative coming out of Babson University. I hope to get on their distribution list to see what they put out into the market, how easy it is to modify and enhance, and how useful the results are.