[Discuss] The institutionalization of OSHW

Andrew Stone stone at toastedcircuits.com
Sat Sep 29 05:02:28 UTC 2012

I hear your frustration Phillip.  Its doubly hard to hear criticism from
people who are not wrestling with the problems you are dealing with.  Like
I said in my OP I certainly respect pragmatic decisions and appreciate all
OSHW, even fragments!  As I implied in my OP, if closing a small subset
eliminates 99% of the knockoffs but only 1% of the enhancers then maybe it
is a reasonable tradeoff.
But what really needs to be said about OSHW is that prior discussions were
along the lines of practicum -- that is "I want to open everything but the
tools do not allow me.  When they do I will..."

At the summit it seemed we were hearing "its bad for business to open

This transformation in motivation needed to be addressed I think.

"Someone in this room will build a billion dollar business" was picked up
and repeated several times by other speakers as if that was what we were
all planning and striving for...

Was anyone considering the immense social and environmental impact OSHW has
already had by influencing the decision of an entire country to stop using
nuclear power?  And by accurately charting the environmental effects of
industrial disasters?  Or did those talks get ignored in the scramble stake
a claim in the OSHW gold rush? :-)

Yes Catarina, Michael, I hope people do think about it and vote with their
pocketbooks... but I think you may want to stop a moment and consider why
many votes aren't weighted by net worth.

And the rest of us may want to seriously consider releasing our
contributions with strong share-alike requirements...


On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM, phillip torrone <pt at oreilly.com> wrote:

> i usually try to say companies "making and selling open source hardware"
> when i write about companies folks should support if they like to see more
> oshw in the world. i don't think it's ever going to be possible to be a
> 100% open source hardware company and i'm also not sure 100% open source
> hardware can exist for some people too.
> what we have is a desire to share and be open, more is happening, it's
> good :)
> On Sep 28, 2012, at 11:51 PM, Michael James <
> michael at opensourcehardwarejunkies.com> wrote:
> > I am a bit confused when people say Open Source Hardware Company.
> >
> > Any company can sell OSHW.  The OSHW designation applies to devices not
> business entities.
> >
> > Radio Shack carries Open Source Hardware - good for them I say and for
> >
> > If a company wants to sell open and close source - power to them.  If
> their customer base feels alienated they can (and will) vote with their
> wallets.
> >
> > -Michael
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sat, Sep 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM, Catarina Mota <
> catarina at openmaterials.org> wrote:
> > I'm seriously sleep deprived, so take this with a grain of salt :)
> >
> > Perhaps we should stop using the expression "OSHW company." Otherwise,
> we'll end up having to determine what percentage of a business's products
> must be OHSW for that company to be considered open source. We don't need a
> company certification process, not right now I think.
> >
> > While I agree that some people behaved shamefully last week, let's keep
> in mind that they're a handful of individuals. Yesterday we stuffed almost
> 500 people in a warehouse to discuss controversial issues and everyone (as
> far as know) behaved beautifully. So much so that the Eyebeam team
> complimented us on being unusually friendly, respectful and upbeat. Many
> sponsors, speakers and attendees showed up early (some of them were 2 days
> early) and, instead of taking a seat, rolled up their sleeves and started
> deploying chairs and picking up trash - yup, we put CEOs on trash duty :)
> The outpour of love and support in our inbox and twitter stream today has
> been one of the most moving things I've experienced. So while we can't
> condone rudeness and disrespect, we should also celebrate the majority that
> is so kind and supportive.
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:04 PM, phillip torrone <pt at oreilly.com>
> wrote:
> > 2 weeks ago i got the usual once-a-month "purity" email from some random
> person saying "you're not open source because you use quickbooks, or
> windows, or EAGLE" etc.. but now this week adafruit along with sparkfun is
> back to being a "good example of an open source hardware" company.
> >
> > i read your post and you say "Ok fine, I understand the need to
> discourage knock-offs.  But if you do this you are NOT 100% Open Source
> Hardware." -
> >
> > ok, but really, who is or isn't open source enough this week?
> >
> > is sparkfun 100%, is adafruit 100%, what about EMSL? they have a kit
> that's not OSHW, so does everyone else who i consider an oshw company. are
> we pure enough?
> >
> > our company statement, actually, limor's is "we're going to keep
> shipping OSHW while everyone argues about open source hardware". we're
> going to keep doing open source, we'll show that's an amazing cause and an
> amazing business, smart people will want to join us.
> >
> > last week the most vocal voices in the open source 3d printing community
> didn't inspire anyone to want to join their cause, in fact a 3d printer
> maker told me "wow, glad we never did (or will do open source). that's the
> worst thing i think, people steering clear of open source because of a
> "damned if you do, damned if you don't?
> >
> > i really don't know what's next, but i'm thinking about. for now,  i'm
> really excited about the OSHWA, because they're a group of people that has
> the mission to celebrate OSHW companies, i'd like to know i can work hard
> and someone *else* is going to say "these folks are doing OSHW, support
> them".
> >
> > i'm going to do my best to get them members and help them celebrate oshw.
> >
> > join in :)
> >
> > cheers,
> > pt
> >
> >
> >
> > On Sep 28, 2012, at 2:07 PM, Andrew Stone <stone at toastedcircuits.com>
> wrote:
> > As I listened to the OSHW summit speakers, I felt a pretty disturbing
> trend towards closing aspects of some products, and "yes-sirring" both real
> and "fake" regulatory bodies (as opposed to reluctantly complying) by the
> well-regarded members of our community.  And then of course there were lots
> of great presentations of cool stuff that completely disregarded all that.
> > >
> > > Looks like some of us are growing up :-(.  Did you feel that way?
> > >
> > > My full blog posting:
> http://effluviaofascatteredmind.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-institutionalization-of-oshw.html
> > >
> > > Cheers!
> > > Andrew
> > >
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