Open Business Model Design
Current industry standard business models are scarcity-based: people are prevented from access, even when it costs nothing to give something away for free. This is clear for closed software: someone could install it themselves with no effort on part of the provider.
Granted, significant skill may be required for such self-service.
But that is also the key to a sustainable revenue model: most people do not have the skills to serve themselves, and thus will be willing to pay for the service. Or don't want to, or don't have the time - they will gladly pay for the service.
For hardware, does this mean we give away 'stuff' for free? No. First we must start with the distinction - free hardware is free as in freedom, not as in free beer. When it comes to free hardware - we mean that the hardware is free. See Free Hardware and Open Source Hardware.
Having cleared up this distinction, here are reasons why society would benefit sinficantly if designs were free and open source. The core reason revolves around access and unleashing innovation.
Freedom means that others have access - allowing for leapfrogging of technology. This is where we begin to have a chance to close the gap of poor wealth distribution - globally and locally.
Some principles we follow are:
- Publish all development work openly, not working behind close doors until product launch. We can still launch products, but invite collaborators throughout.
- If something doesn't cost you anything, publish it for free.
- Create revenue models by things that do cost you time, effort, materials: consulting, appearances, kits, special events, products, etc.
- Create mechanisms where customers are developers - by enabling ready access to source code, design tools, and the overall development environment.
- Strive to enable voluntary activity - by guaranteeing income via collaborative development - so people then spend the vast majority of their time in self-determined behavior
- Publish course and education materials for free. Charge for value added services such as grading, certification, etc.
- Charge for physical products.
- Charge for experiences that take your time.
- Guide participants in building real things - theryby shifting from production to production education
- Establish large-scale collaborations that yield products significantly better than proprietary development
- Use incentive challenges, collaborative and open source - for real product developmnent - funded either by the crowd or by sponsors
- Use crowdfunding to fund incentive challenges by rewarding with participation training (courses) and with participation in physical events.