Making Money with Open Source Hardware

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Important graphic at


It distinguishes the good from the bad reasons to make profit from Open Source Hardware


"By this framework, profit-making is a good thing when it’s maximized and re-invested back to the community. On the other hand, profit-making is a “bad” thing (or “less good”) when it funds traditional business model reasons, like mitigating risk, distribution, portfolio, or scaling. Why? Because each of these business models involve taking advantage of the efforts of others to make profit. The profit doesn’t make its way back to the individuals who contributed, so it’s “less good” than a system that directly rewards and incents individuals and their time. This assumes that the end-state desired outcome is a system in which individuals are directly contributing to a shared community, and collecting as many of the benefits of their time as possible." (

More Information

  1. Open Source Economic Principles
  2. Open Source Software Economy vs Open Source Hardware Economy
  3. The Cluster Theory of Open Source Economics