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Introducing CERN's Open Hardware Repository

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boblespam
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CEO
Re: Everybody wins the coin toss
boblespam   12/20/2013 8:05:22 AM
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So I develop during 9 month a nice piece of HW that works. I put it on the open repository because you say it's cool.

Another guy takes the project, eventually make it better if he has nothing better to do that day (the stuff works, so why bother ?).

He sells it, I sell it. His product is cheaper because he doesn't have to pay for the 9 month I worked on it.Who will pay the food I ate during those 9 month ? Mummy ? The CERN ? (mostly financed by publics funds)

 

betajet
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CEO
Re: Everybody wins the coin toss
betajet   12/20/2013 2:29:26 PM
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boblespam wrote: So I develop during 9 month a nice piece of HW that works.  I put it on the open repository because you say it's cool.

Another guy takes the project, eventually make it better if he has nothing better to do that day (the stuff works, so why bother?)

He sells it, I sell it.  His product is cheaper because he doesn't have to pay for the 9 month I worked on it.  Who will pay the food I ate during those 9 months? Mummy? The CERN? (mostly financed by publics funds)

What you say is possible.  But a number of alternatives are also possible:

1. By using OSH, you were able to cut your design time in half, making it possible to hit a market window that would have been impossible on your own.

2. You don't have to publish your design until it ships.  At that point, your potential competitor may decide it's not worth trying to catch up.  First, there's a lot of time and expense to getting a product shipped after completing the design, such as lining up manufacturing and getting certifications.  Raspberry Pi's Gert van Loo gave a talk at the 2013 Design West about the trials and tribulations of getting Gertboard manufactured, called "Designing is Easy, Production is a Nightmare".  Second, your competitor may realize that a third competitor could easily step in and drink both your milkshakes, so the Nightmare is likely not worth it.

3. OTOH, you are better off publishing your design before shipping to catch errors that may have slipped in.  My favorite recent example of this is the Raspberry Pi, which published its schematics after shipping rev 1.0.  An enthusiast at element14 quickly discovered that two 1.8V regions with separate voltage regulators were accidently shorted together, which caused the voltage regulators to compete.  This caused a component on some boards to overheat, even though other boards were just fine.  If RasPi had released the schematics earlier, the problem may have been found and fixed before production.

However, this is a trade-off with #2.

4. While your design "works", I've yet to meet a design that could not be improved.  If you OSH your design, you open it to design review from potentially thousands of eyeballs who may find some substantial improvements, which then trigger your own ideas for further improvement.  Humans have a nasty tendency to "fall in love with a solution" and at that point fail to look for better solutions.

I love your idea of having public funds pay for OSH.  That would IMO be much more effective at "promoting the Progress of Science and Useful Arts" than the current scheme.  Public funds pay for roads, bridges, tunnels, and public transportation.  OSH is another way to get from Point A to Point B, so why not?



erosvidal
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Rookie
Communitty support and reliability vs propietary approach
erosvidal   1/18/2014 1:29:58 PM
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The OHR and other initiatives are still at early development stages but provide a great opportunity to Technology based SMEs (see some related to OHR at http://www.ohwr.org/companies ). As you can see they belong to different countries and are SME...

We belong to one of them, and we have had several interesting discussions with large companies on the support and reliability model. Even being a Small company and relatively young we claim that even if we dissapear "others will take our designs being able to provide them and support them". Thus, if there is a certain number of companies in the pool, small companies can take rather critical designs. Even if they dissapear, making the designs open shall give trust to potential subcontractors since when a design is open it allows to be reviewed by third parties and allows support not only from the original designers but also from the related community.

 

erosvidal
User Rank
Rookie
innovating in business models
erosvidal   1/18/2014 1:38:42 PM
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The OHR and similar innitiatives represent an opportunity to innovate not only in technology but also in buisness models. 

We belong that to an Open SME, we agree that when we address a design we concern about how to get the design effort cover (and if possible even making profit of it). There is a need to innovate on buisness models related with Open Hardware, some innovations are specificly related to hardware, since we have fabrication costs, tooling costs, etc. 

Not only the design, but also the fabrication and test of a new product requires  and initial investment. The test suits, visual inspection and other quality tests may provide products of very different quality.

We say that we share "cooking receipts" but the quality of the final product may highly depend on other factors such as "quality of components" and "cooking skills... 

Furthermore, companies related with specific products and technologies are the best candidates to be involved in future projects related to this technologies....

 

 

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