Why Open Source?: Exploring the Motivations of Using an Open Model for Hardware Development
Author(s)Li, Zhuoxuan; Seering, Warren Paul; Ramos, Joshua D; Yang, Maria; Wallace, David R.
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Following the successful adoption of the open source model in the software realm, open source is becoming a new design paradigm in hardware development. Open source models for tangible products are still in its infancy, and many studies are required to demonstrate its application to for-profit product development. It is an alluring question why entrepreneurs decide to use an open model to develop their products under risks and unknowns, such as infringement and community management. The goal of this paper is to investigate the motivations of entrepreneurs of open source hardware companies. The leaders and founders of twentythree companies were interviewed to understand their motivation and experiences in creating a company based on open source hardware. Based on these interviews, we generated a hierarchical framework to explain these motivations, where each level of the framework has been defined, explained and illustrated with representative quotes. The motivations of open source action are framed by two categories in the paper: 1) Intrinsic Motivation, which describes the motivations of an entrepreneur as an individual, who needs personal satisfaction, enjoyment as well as altruism and reciprocity; 2) Extrinsic Motivation, which describes motivations of an entrepreneur whose identity is as a for-profit company leader.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Proceedings of the ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference,
Li, Zhuoxuan, Warren Seering, Joshua David Ramos, Maria Yang, and David Robert Wallace. “Why Open Source?: Exploring the Motivations of Using an Open Model for Hardware Development.” ASME 2017 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, 6-9 August, 2017, Cleveland, Ohio, USA, ASME, 2017. © 2017 by ASME
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