Viral Replicability Criteria

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Viral replicability criteria are those requirements related to a productive enterprise that allow it to scale rapidly. In the OSE case, enterprises typically revolve around physical production. The basic theory that OSE is trying to prove is that simply by entering the open source domain - including fully open source enterprise infrastructure - Distributed Market Substitution will occur.


2023 - Product Qualities

  1. User base is entire population, either directly or indirectly. If indirectly, it is the direct product (that everyone uses) of a production machine. Therefore, products are such as houses, or CNC machines as examples of these two.
  2. Open product ecosystem allows for publically accessible design, modification, and enterprise resources. Value model around this is learning acceleration: all resources are free, you can pay for training and other assets that require staff time and an organization behind that effort.
  3. Open community exists behind the effort. This is where the OSE Forum comes in.
  4. Product becomes the best: most Robust, circular, modular, open ecosystem - breaking the Iron Triangle.
  5. Integrated Design - combination of Design for Manufacturing, Modularity, Product Ecologies or Product Ecosystems, Open Standards, Human Scale, Design for Distributivity, Design for Disassembly, Construction Set Approach, Concurrent Engineering, Second Toyota Paradox, Six Sigma

2022 Addendum

Note the diagram focuses on hardware products, but a similar development process can exist for organizations, institutions, and other cultural artifacts.



These criteria help guide the release of a full product towards significant importance in a given market. OSE believes in disseminating best practice designs so that everyone can benefit. Some of these criteria are:

  1. Open Design
  1. Open hardware, OSHWA compliant
  2. Open software at all levels, from firmware to platform - FSF or OSI compliant
  3. Open source operations manual - disclosing details of Enterprise Operations
  4. Open Source Supply Chain - including vendors, sources, and Approved Vendors List with MOQ and delivery time information, regionally adapted
  5. Open source Collaborative Marketing Strategy - including running events in parallel in many locations, such that all members are encouraged to collaborate on a publicity strategy and push
  6. Open Educational Resources - pursuant to the Open Content Definition
  1. Good online platform and community
  2. Product optimization - optimized design for the highest performance to cost ratio
  3. Modular desing and clear workflows for production using the XM model
  4. Modular Design
  5. Contributes essentially to Regenerative Design
  6. Excellent open product documentation
  7. Translation into all languages
  8. Freely downloadable designs
  9. Existence of a Distributive Enterprise around a certain product
  10. Existence of a turnkey build manual and blueprints for independent replicators, including part sourcing
  11. A healthy developer community and user community with clear communication channels
  12. Transparent repository of design that allows forking, merging, and version control/history
  13. A scalable, collaborative development process with bug tracking and burndown graphs
  14. Training materials, from design training, to build training, to using the tools involved in the design process
  15. Entreprenuership training
  16. A self-funding mechanism for enterprise certification - OSE Certified - for quality control of distributed production
  17. Open access to a developer toolkit - software and hardware tools platform which avoids incompatibility and cross-platform issues. OSE is addressing this with OSE Linux.
  18. Mechanism for quality control up to Six Sigma standards
  19. An open source CAD design workbench and construction set to facilitate derivatives.
  20. Customer support
  21. Training of other enterprise trainers
  22. Collaborative instructionals production infrastructure
  23. A wiki for collaborative publishing

Viral Replicability

This is a crowd-developed list of all the criteria required for viral replicability to happen. OSE believes that viral replicability is desirable - under the assumption that the product has verifiable, measurable merit from the standpoint of providing the best service from a holistic perspective.

What is a comprehensive list of requirements, all of which facilitate replication of the machine?

To get feedback from the community via a collaborative process, we are providing a feedback form - requesting input on all requirements that facilitate the replication of a given machine. Our case in point is the CEB Press.

Feedback Form


edit form

Infographic and Cultural Mindshift

Based on the information we gather, we will compose an infographic on Viral Replicability Criteria (VRC). The infographic is intended to get people thinking about the potential of open source (hardware) development.

Why is this important?

An implicit premise of the endpoint of any successful open source hardware project is that the quality of the hardware becomes superior to any proprietary counterpart. This is a strong statement, but it is also a simple natural result of an open, collaborative process attracting more development effort than any proprietary, closed-system effort. In other words, a better product means natural dissemination of that product worldwide. But it does not mean homogenization of options as in the standard mass production model, because the affordances of open technology make open hardware flexible and adaptable to any local setting.

We should explore the claim of open development attracting more effort than proprietary efforts. This in general is true, but if appropriate coordination of effort is not secured, then even if more effort is spent, results are not produced. The internet provided a large measure of coordination to open efforts. However, sophisticated mechanisms of Time-Binding are still missing.

Irrational Marketplace

Caveat: The market domination of open source product does assume a rational marketplace. This is not generally available - as special interests and agents of centralization tend to monopolize. Solution: It is theorized here that specific aspects of VRC bypass the irrationality of the marketplace. That critical aspect that allows the bypass is the drastically-reduced barriers to entry. It is theorized here that these reduced barriers to entry override the irrationality of the marketplace.

The irrationality of the marketplace is brought about by deprivation, attachment, scarcity, human psychology, social conditioning, fear and anger, secular ponerological and Soteriological factors, and other phenomena.

These factors indeed are significant issues that limit the creation of an ethical economy, and may dictate that many people would consume, for example, Coca Cola over organic fruit juices - or, for example, insist that one manufacturer's automobile is fundamentally different from another's.

However, given that 50% of the world lives at under $1000/year of income, there may be a wide market for viral replication of ethical enterprise. Third World Disclaimer.

This does not address viral replicability in the First World. In the first world, lifecycle assessment and environmental issues, combined with 50x lower lifetime costs, and and open enterprise acceleration, just might contribute to viral uptake.

This last point is critical: open hardware accelerators spreading enterprise with minimum effort.