[p2p-research] help please - open source hardware bottlenecks

Samuel Rose samuel.rose at gmail.com
Fri Nov 13 17:27:23 CET 2009

On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 10:58 AM, Tere Vaden <Tere.Vaden at uta.fi> wrote:
> Dear all,
> I'm requesting your help. The eCars Now -project
> (http://blog.p2pfoundation.net/ecorolla-running/2009/09/04) is entering a
> new phase. A prototype is ready and some sort of "mass production" has to be
> started next. The problem is: this implies Open Source Hardware production
> (especially with regard to the electronics; the motor & batteries can be
> bought ready made). Now the community needs to make some decisions about the
> road to be taken. One possibility is to keep all the interfaces of the
> electronics open and hope to attract several companies as producers, another
> possibility is to outsource the electronics development to a company that
> probably will want to close some parts of the boxes. Both possibilities
> contain severe risks and potential for failure. In order to make a better
> informed decision, the community wants to prepare some sort of list or table
> of comparison between the differences between os software and hardware
> development. It would also be very helpful to know examples of failed and
> succesful open hardware projects. (Like, e.g., why OpenMoko is not taking
> off). I made a quick try:
> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/2109396/OpenSourceSoftHardComparison_eCars.pdf
> All comments and input are very welcome! Especially insights with regard to
> the two possible roadmaps.
> Best,
> Tere

Is there a co-editable table online somewhere?

I was talking with Paul the other day about why OpenMoko may have
failed. I think the problem with OpenMoko may have been the attempt to
mix conflicting models

Open source hardware may be a poor vehicle for short term, quick ROI
venture capital. I think it is, so that is my opinion. I thunk
OpenMoko sought that short term quick ROI venture capital, but since
there are no guarantees with Open Hardware, then this may have scared
off those investors.

It's my opinion that Open Hardware is better matched with long term,
stable, self-sustaining growth. A support service organization can
help steward this, and interact with the companies that do the
development. I think this could be bolstered by people actually doing
the legwork of seeking out qualified companies and participants. Plus,
supporting the open source output with some form of not for profit

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Sam Rose
Social Synergy
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"The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human
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