Sound bites from Open-Source Hardware Panel

SparkFun kicked off Open Source Hardware (OSH) Month by hosting a panel of experts. Here's what they had to say!

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The OSH panelists ranged from product and business developers to artists and educators. Here are some written sound bites from the panel:


On creativity and innovation

"It is about the speed of innovation. Open source hardware has made SparkFun a better company - we must come up with ways to innovate at a faster pace." - Nathan Seidle

"Open source hardware opens the opportunity for people to look into how something is built - it creates a space for creativity and innovation." - Arielle Hein

"Art students are told to go copy a Monet - they are told not to worry because it is public domain. Artists copy the masters - they learn and build from the masters. Open source hardware is about building from the masters." - Alicia Gibb


On documentation

"We all have to be a better example: document where you fail. If you find something out of date, submit a pull request. If you hate that something does not include photos, take photos." - Toni Klopfenstein

"The practice of documentation is not just for a record, but to support continuous iteration." - Arielle Hein

"Education is a natural fit for open source hardware - documenting work, sharing, referencing others. In education, there is an inclination to build off each other’s work." - Arielle Hein

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On business

"I have to have the conversation with people and it goes something like: 'Congratulations! You open sourced appropriately. Now, are you emotionally ready to be copied?'" - Alicia Gibb

"I used to think there were domains where open source did not apply; now, I do not think there is a field that would not benefit from open source. The Open Insulin Project is a great example of this." - Alicia Gibb

"Open source companies are becoming much more sophisticated with what they bring to market - software, services, integrations, ecosystems..." - Harris Kenny

"Ninety-eight percent of the problems an open source company encounters are the same as any other company. Most of my clients have OSHWA-certified products and they are generating a profit." - Harris Kenny

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On the future of open source

"Open source hardware will evolve, just like open source software has evolved." - Harris Kenny

"I am hopeful for the future. I believe there will be significant change in global patent law." - Nathan Seidle

"People are really paying attention to the open source hardware movement...entire countries are trying to figure it out." - Alicia Gibb

"Open source is literacy for the 21st century - the next generation will come from libraries opening up a lot more learning opportunities." - Alicia Gibb

"I believe we will see more open source hardware rolling out in consumer markets." - Alicia Gibb

"With the sheer volume of knowledge, content, and products being generated by the community, it will grow." - Toni Klopfenstein


Meet the Panelists

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All panelists are current or former OSHWA Board members, and each individual brings a unique perspective and expertise to the conversation:

  • Alicia Gibb (@pipix / aliciagibb.com ): Advocate for open hardware, researcher and hardware hacker; founder of the Open Source Hardware Association

  • Arielle Hein (@coloringchaos): Artist, educator and technologist whose work explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies and spans the fields of human-computer interaction, interaction design and art

  • Harris Kenny (@harriskenny / kennyconsultinggroup.com): Principal at Kenny Consulting Group, a business development consultancy that works with B2B technology and service companies

  • Toni Klopfenstein (@ToniCorinne): Open Source Supporter and Developer Advocate at Google, Toni has been a frontline OSHW advocate for over a decade

  • Nathan Seidle (@ChipAddict): Founder of/engineer at SparkFun Electronics, which designs and manufactures open source hardware

To see extended bios, please visit our event page. .


Comments 2 comments

  • Hello I m Rick the IT technical Engg at Brandt, Canada. We have a printing and publishing team, can this device above be integrated with our regular printers with AI technology? So that we don't have to manually instruct the system to choose the docs to print for. Regards, Rick Derrick

  • Looks like it was a fun event. Thanks for sharing!

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