The Open Source Movement: The power of open communities

We all owe a great debt to a movement that has and will continue to enhance all of our lives. This movement I'm referring to is the Open Source Movement. The vast hardware and software technologies that have emerged from this movement is just incredible to see and experience, and I believe what's to come will be even more amazing to be a part of.

As I've stated numerous times, it really is truly amazing to observe the power of multiple minds working to solve problems. I believe that the Open Source movement is a perfect example of what communities of people can achieve. Thanks to the efforts of huge communities of individuals working to solve problems and find ways to enhance existing systems, we now have a multitude of new software applications and hardware devices that can be both downloaded for free and built for a fraction of the cost of comparable enterprise products.

Some examples of the incredible hardware and software creations that have come out of the open source movement include the Linux computer operating system, the 3D printer, and the multitude of mini computer/controller boards such as the Arduino, Raspberry Pie, and the Beaglebone. The initial open source Linux kernel has spawned numerous free computer and server operating systems, and continues to even be a big player in many commercial enterprise ventures also. Another big innovation that came from the open source hardware movement is the 3D printer. Because the blueprints and software code were given out for free, the original open source RepRap 3D printer has also spawned numerous iterations. Thanks to the open software and hardware communities, we also have a multitude of mini computer/controller boards that provide a ton of functionality for very low cost. These powerful little boards have gone from DIY hobbyist projects to becoming big players in the upcoming Internet of Things revolution.

As we look a little deeper into the Open Source Movement, we find that the most important factor in how these software and hardware creations are now becoming very valuable contributions to society is that they are developed and built by a community of people working toward common goals. While modern enterprises may normally utilize a relatively few amount of employees to develop and create their products, many of the software and hardware innovations that come from the open source movement are created using the power of literally thousands of people working together towards common goals. The other incredible thing is that most of these thousands of creators are not even paid for their time and contributions.

I think that the Open Source Movement is a great example for all of us to see how powerful that cooperation and common goals can be for creating great change. A study of how the open source communities operate can show us all how to be better creators. Personally, I feel that we should give thanks for all the great developments that have come out of the open source movement, and if possible, we should find ways to add to what's already been created. As we pursue our own enterprise ventures, maybe there are still ways to contribute to this commons approach to creating together as community. Maybe even more great ideas for creating can be developed and shared with our fellow inventors, innovators, developers, and entrepreneurs, and I feel that MakerCreations could become a valuable platform for doing just that. I have more thoughts on how to achieve this collaborative way of innovating, and will post more later.

James