Some people believe that I am not properly supporting the open source community. If you are asking yourself what open source is, you probably don’t need to read any further. If you are familiar with open source keep reading.
Some people in the open source community don’t value my contribution to drive down cost. They feel like I am only taking and not giving. It simply comes down to this.
Open source serves to develop ideas into reality. This is what every engineer/maker loves – to see their ideas work. Open source doesn’t always lend itself to bringing a product to the masses. Mass production takes a lot of capital investment. In a way, open source and mass production could be considered diametrically opposed to one another. Because of the capital investment required to setup mass production, investors want to know that their investment is protected from competition. So there is an interesting question we must all ask ourselves.
If the open source community develops a product AND proves there is a market for it, would you rather see it taken to the masses by:
1) A company that uses an open source design that is bound by the same open source rules?
2) A company that takes a product that is early in its life cycle but with a proven market, develops their own closed system with funding from deep pockets, and leapfrogs the whole open source movement?
I don’t believe there is a right or wrong answer here. There are simply different results based on the choice made.