Emerging Business Models for Open Source Hardware

Citation data:

Journal of Open Hardware, ISSN: 2514-1708, Vol: 1, Issue: 1

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Usage 174
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Repository URL:
https://digitalcommons.mtu.edu/materials_fp/67; https://works.bepress.com/jmpearce/118
10.5334/joh.4; 10.5334/joh.4/
Pearce, Joshua M.
Ubiquity Press, Ltd.
Open source; Open source hardware; Libre hardware; Business models; Innovation; Materials Science and Engineering
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article description
The rise of Free and Open Source models for software development has catalyzed the growth of Free and Open Source hardware (also known as “Libre Hardware”). Libre Hardware is gaining significant traction in the scientific hardware community, where there is evidence that open development creates both technically superior and far less expensive scientific equipment than proprietary models. In this article, the evidence is reviewed and a collection of examples of business models is developed to service scientists who have the option to manufacture their own equipment using Open Source designs. Profitable Libre Hardware business models are reviewed, which includes kit, specialty component, and calibration suppliers for makers. The results indicate that Libre Hardware businesses should target technically sophisticated customers first and, as usability matures, target expanded markets of conventional consumers.