Sometimes innovation is reactive, rapidly solving problems shortly after they appear — and that’s great. But companies also frequently have to make big decisions about just how they intend to approach innovation, and in those cases it’s better to think ahead, and start spelling things out with policy documents both internal and public. Not only does this make the big decisions easier to navigate, it’s essential to creating and retaining a pro-innovation culture in a growing company.

But we also know that most startups don’t have time to sit down and hash out policies for every single eventuality, and that’s why we’ve created the Open Source Policy Project. We’re building a github repository, but instead of useful code and applications, it’s full of useful policy documents: flexible, modular, easily customizable material to help companies put their commitment to innovation into words. For those that sign on to our Statement of Innovation Principles, it serves as a toolkit to help realize the Principles in full; for everyone, it’s a resource that we hope will make these important but challenging policy discussions easier to tackle.

The Goal: Create a robust repository of free and open policy documents, both internal and public, for anyone to use or modify and build upon.

The Status: The Copia team is in the process of creating the first few documents for the repository, but we’re also seeking input from startups, entrepreneurs and innovators: what policy decisions have you found the most challenging? What kinds of materials and documents would be most useful at various stages of building your business? How have you tackled these challenges so far, and have you produced your own policy documents? Here are some of the initial policy documents we’re working on:

  • Handling DMCA takedowns
  • Handling government takedowns and requests for information
  • Privacy policy
  • Controversial content policy

We’re getting ready to host a workshop to discuss the next steps for this project. Stay tuned for an event announcement coming soon!