[Discuss] Business model for OSHW projects

Jean-Marie Verdun jean-marie.verdun at splitted-desktop.com
Thu Mar 30 12:52:18 UTC 2017

Hi Javier,

Thanks for the feedback. I agree that getting the budget before the 
project is going too far is a good idea, and that open hardware will not 
change the main economy paradigm (even if it could).

But there is still some needs which are not easy to address. The most 
disruptive ideas are really hard to fund. RuggedPOD [1] was a project 
into which most of the people didn't believed at early stage, and we 
made it live to prove that it could work through an open hardware approach.

Now that it is public, it is really hard to make it funded because 
potential supporter are afraid that the technology could be used by 
another one and he will loose its advantage. (chicken and egg issue). In 
that case you need a very big customer for which the cost of supporting 
the development phase into which you are is very small or represents 
nothing. There is just a very few guys who can do that (the POD DVT 
phase is about 180-300k$).

It is not easy to find such partner in IT. I know that nothing is easy 
in life, but just think about the startup world. It is hard for a 
startup to be funded when it owns the IP of what it is willing to fund. 
It is super hard for an open hardware community to get funding for 
something which is public.

Some people who might be interested, are the industrial who could 
leverage the investment during the production phase, or some joint funds 
managed by non profit foundations which could decide as an example to 
allocate them.

What is frustrating on RuggedPOD as an example, is that we have clients 
who are willing to get POD for plenty of various reasons. I am not in a 
rush finding solutions, but I think this is a problem which require our 
attention as being part of an Open Hardware movement due to its 
complexity and lack of options.


[1] http://ruggedpod.qyshare.com

Le 30/03/2017 à 13:57, Javier Serrano a écrit :
> On 03/28/2017 10:44 PM, Jean-Marie Verdun wrote:
>> So roughly, do we have any idea on how to sustain the cost of
>> development for complex system ? My idea to keep some margin from sales
>> is not bad, as long as the market growth, I am even ready to give that
>> money to some non profit foundation who could decide to allocate these
>> funds to priority projects.
> For our most complex system, the White Rabbit network [1] we have found
> that having the users/clients pay for the development costs upfront
> (i.e. even before the hardware actually exists) was the only viable
> solution. The issue is then how to coordinate the first clients. I am
> interested in other ideas if people have any.
> Cheers,
> Javier
> [1] http://www.ohwr.org/projects/white-rabbit/wiki/
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   Jean-Marie Verdun
*Splitted-Desktop Systems*
   Batiment Aristote
   Parc des Algorithmes
   Route de l'orme des merisiers
   91190 Saint Aubin FRANCE

jean-marie.verdun at splitted-desktop.com

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