[Discuss] Business model for OSHW projects

Javier Serrano Javier.Serrano at cern.ch
Thu Mar 30 13:48:31 UTC 2017

Hi Jean-Marie,

On 03/30/2017 02:52 PM, Jean-Marie Verdun wrote:

> 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$).

This is the crux of the problem, I think. The "potential supporter" you
describe looks like somebody who would in fact prefer a proprietary
solution, maybe with some kind of NDA. I say this because somebody for
whom openness is an important buying argument would actually wish that
as many people as possible use the product. That's good for finding
bugs, driving prices down, etc.

Now there is also the "free rider" problem. A supporter may want an open
product but ideally others would pay for its development. How to provide
appropriate incentives? I guess some kind of consortium would be a
solution, whereby the design files are fully open but consortium
(paying) members get some kind of privilege. This privilege can take
many forms: early access to designs, direct contact with the design
team, customizations...



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