[Discuss] Economic value of OSH work

Cameron Adamez cameron at suspectdevices.com
Wed Sep 3 17:26:57 UTC 2014

I feel this is treading at the debate FLOSS types had years back, which is free of cost versus freely available (free or libre).

There are other costs that aren't included but should be if we want to look at this holistically: shipping costs, costs to assembly workers, costs to mine and reclaim materials, costs to ecosystems from those materials, costs to those who are using the finished product (or being used by the finish product). These have real monitary impact in local economies. 

If we're talking about design only, for the purpose of funding designers, I would get data on market rates, as long as it's at or above the living wage in your area. 

Cameron Adamez

On September 2, 2014 6:13:53 AM PDT, Joshua Pearce <professor.pearce at gmail.com> wrote:
>Hi All,
>I know that many of you has been thinking about how to determine the
>of OSH work. Are you aware of any methods to calculate absolute value
>real economic terms?
>For example if you spend an hour of your time making an OpenSCAD file
>for a
>parametric test tube rack and put it in the public domain - and then
>the rest of time anyone can download the file, customize the rack for
>needs and print it for the cost of materials and a tiny amount of
>electricity. How much is that gift worth?
>Clearly it is more than your opportunity cost or wage for one
>how much more is the value to humanity?
>Is it:
>(cost to purchase - cost to print) x (number of people downloading it)?
>(hourly wage of person needing a test tube rack) x (number of people
>total value of the test tube market - (cost to print)x (number of racks
>the market) ....summed for N years?
>As the cost of test tube racks has now decreased it is the total value
>the current market + a bonus for expanding future use because of lower
>costs + some kind of educational bonus because more schools can afford
>+ some fraction of future discoveries made possible because now part of
>expense of doing science was decreased.....
>Is there a better way to do this - and get to quantification?
>Joshua M. Pearce, Ph.D.
>Associate Professor
>The Michigan Tech Open Sustainability Technology Lab
>Department of Materials Science & Engineering
>Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
>Michigan Technological University
>601 M&M Building
>1400 Townsend Drive
>Houghton, MI 49931-1295
>Open Source Lab
>discuss mailing list
>discuss at lists.oshwa.org
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