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At O’Reilly’s foo camp east 2010 at Microsoft’s NERD center (MIT campus) we presented “Million dollar baby – Businesses designing and selling open source hardware, making millions” at the Ignite hour. 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide – we tried to capture the excitement and great work from just a few of the dozens of open source hardware companies & resellers. Above, slides, photos & video (m4v). Special thanks to all the companies who helped with some data points and to the OSHW workshop group. There are additional videos/posts/tweet from other attendees, this is our quick video we were able to put together on the train ride back from MA to NYC.
PDF of the slides here.
DIY startups: A million bucks and counting @ PowerSource, Margery Conner…
Two years ago I posted 15 steps to starting your own electronic kit business, based on a presentation that Limor Fried, founder of the Adafruit electronics kit business gave at Maker Faire. In the ensuing 24 months the world economy turned into mush. What did this mean for a small electronic kit start-up? Not only Adafruit but many other startups companies in the kit business are thriving.
Companies providing OSHW allow all designs of the products to be shared through an open license, meaning that everyone is free to download, modify, and share all the schematics and associated software. You’re encouraged to make, refine, or even sell your own versions of these products. While this business model is counter-intuitive for those used to our patent and copyright loving system… Among the OSHW baker’s dozen are names that we’re familiar with. We’ve long admired MakerBot and their 3D printing prowess, BugLabs’ modular approach to electronic gadgetry is top notch, and we’ve seen Arduino enabled projects do some amazing things. Most of the other companies mentioned are equally interesting. What really impresses me, however, is how quickly this industry as a whole is growing. Just five years ago, there were only a handful of OSHW projects actively supported. Now there are more than 200. And these million dollar companies are still expanding.
Open source hardware business booms: 13 companies making $1M+, Cory Doctorow
Here’s Limor “Adafruit” Friend and Make editor Phil Torrone presenting a quick Ignite talk on the growth of open-source hardware businesses, including the remarkable revelation that there are 13 companies turning over $1 million or more per year making hardware that anyone can copy and improve upon. Many are based on the Arduino, but the biggest (by an order of magnitude)…
Hardware: 13 Open Source Hardware Companies Make $1+ Million, kdawson. Slashdot, but there’s a few (rare) good comments… John Pfeiffer
These are people just like us, and they’re pioneering the new way to design, manufacture, and sell electronics. Opensource hardware is even going to change the consumer side of the equation. Making people smarter about the things they buy, and making the consumer take up a more participatory role. It’s another step in the democratization of technology. Here’s hoping we bring up the next generation wanting to build and create more things than they buy off the shelf. And here’s hoping my name will show up in a similar presentation in the not-too-distant future!
Million Dollar Baby @ Sparkfun, Nate –
…introduced the idea/definition of Open Source Hardware that a group of us have been hammering on. They also pinged a handful of OSHW companies and sorted them into revenue categories.
Open source hardware is making big bucks Spencer Dalziel –
Like open source software, OSHW companies design products with an open license. Anyone can download and share their code, CAD files and circuit layouts. This means other companies or geekboys [girls] can mod and share the results – with a view to selling their kit.