[Tinkerphones] Article about Crowdfunding and Open Hardware

H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Sun Jan 30 17:37:24 CET 2022



> Am 30.01.2022 um 17:12 schrieb David Boddie <david at boddie.org.uk>:
> 
> I only recently read this article which seems to have flown under the radar
> when it was published:
> 
> https://www.linux-magazine.com/Issues/2020/231/Risky-Business
> 
> I was going to mention it in two of the places where the projects mentioned
> are discussed but it might have been interpreted as provocation. I hadn't
> heard of Keyboardio before, but my taste in keyboards isn't that expensive.
> 
> It's certainly a difficult discussion to have about transparency and
> openness, so I though that the analysis was interesting.

Indeed!

Just some thoughts while reading:

"dangers of crowdfunding and of backing unproven open hardware"

contains a contradiction in itself... How can something become proven without funding by someone taking the risk of failure? And, products are being polished by a process of discussing with real users. So it is a hen&egg problem to have proven hardware before starting crowdfunding. It would be VC funding plus normal sales.

"But what if Purism, or some other company in the same position, collapses financially and is unable to deliver on its promises, even with the best of intentions? "

Yes, I know. With the GTA04A5 the GTA04 project did collapse financially... When we were hit by unexpected production issues. Here, the best intentions and transparency did not help.

"Transparency is a mark of sincerity and helps backers to trust the crowdfunding project."

It does not only help backers but also the project originators to sleep well, even if the project failed.

BTW: I know some of the guys and most of the projects mentioned... Some even asked me to participate in running their project. On one hand I had plans for an OMAP5 based "GTA15" but it was too risky for me to run such again, especially in competition to the upcoming Librem5 and PinePhone. And I had different personal goals and limitations.

BR,
Nikolaus



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