Scarcity-Based Business Models

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Economics that are based on limiting competitors' access to information, knowhow, best practice, etc. In other words, the business model is based on scarcity. It is useful to point out the distinction of a Scarcity-Based Business Model- which is how most of the productive economy works:

  1. Patents
  2. Trade secrets
  3. Non-disclosure agreements
  4. Business models that rely on, assume, or enforce scarcity of essentially non-scarce resources
  5. R&D departments of companies that do not collaborate with any other R&D departments of other related companies
  6. Not publishing any knowhow, development, or process information so that outsiders cannot examine or inspect work being done. This is just working in isolation.
  7. Business models where lack of access to information is the foundation of a business model.
  8. Illegal drugs. See Fair Trade Cocaine.
  9. Arms dealers. They are intermediaries, and cause prices of armaments to go up.
  10. Even open source hardware fails the test, as the Open Hardware Definition does not require collaboration in-process: just publishing final results suffices.

Competitive Waste is an essential feature of scarcity economics, though Collaborative Waste can also play a part.

About Information Products

From OSE's perspective, ethical information products are ones where value-added services cost money, while abundant information is given away for free. Value added can mean physical products, certification, hands-on-training, consulting, community, etc. Ie, the entire modern economy can arise from an open source information ecosystem. Free information is good, as it can be used to market the value-added aspects.


  • How the scarcity model affects business - [1]