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SparkFun kicked off Open Source Hardware (OSH) Month by hosting a panel of experts. Here's what they had to say!
The OSH panelists ranged from product and business developers to artists and educators. Here are some written sound bites from the panel:
"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
"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 If you find something out of date, submit a pull request.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
"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
"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
All panelists are current or former OSHWA Board members, and each individual brings a unique perspective and expertise to the conversation:
To see extended bios, please visit our event page. .