[Tinkerphones] Article about Crowdfunding and Open Hardware

David Boddie david at boddie.org.uk
Sun Jan 30 18:14:33 CET 2022

On Sun Jan 30 17:37:24 CET 2022, H. Nikolaus Schaller wrote:

> 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.

I think it refers to products where there are not even prototypes at the
start of the campaign. I believe the original goal of crowdfunding sites
was to finance production more than fund research and development.

> "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.

But it did 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.

And the backers could see that there were problems and that things were tried
to overcome them.

> 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. 

At least the Pyra is progressing. I think of that as a successor to the GTA04
in some ways.


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