Manufacturing and open source are not often coupled in the same conversation, but the Open Source Hardware Summit is looking to change that. In Ruth Suehle’s Wired.com article, “The Open Source Hardware Summit: The Future of Manufacturing is Sharing,” she recaps the happenings at the recent event.
The Open Source Hardware Association is relatively new and this year was their first to host the now third summit on open source hardware. Wired’s Chris Anderson keynoted “Microeconomics for Makers,” and Suehle shared these comments from his talk:
When we tell people we’re an open hardware company, they ask how you protect the intellectual property. We don’t. We license it so anyone can use it. They can compete with us. They can undercut us. They say, ‘you can’t build a business on that.’ Sure, it’s a challenge, but our model allows us to innovate faster than a closed model. That speed of innovation and our community are the barriers to entry. You can clone us, but you can’t clone our community.
Anderson adds that in a closed system, you just simply cannot innovate as quickly as the community can. This theory was at the core of many of the summit sessions with speakers sharing their fascinating projects, products, and businesses in the industry. The open source model and community it creates holds a lot of potential for both hardware and software. One industry leader in the software realm that continues to foster the open source community is LucidWorks. Nine of the 37 core committers to the Apache Lucene/Solr project work for LucidWorks, making them the largest supporter of open source search in the industry.
Philip West, October 17, 2012