Erik's Master's Defense

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This is Erik de Bruijn's thesis defense. The thesis was awarded a 9 out of 10, which is very rarely given. Prof. O'Callaghan told me it was the best written thesis he had seen in the 13 years as a professor at the University, so that's probably the best kind of recognition I could hope for for this work!

The PDF of the thesis can be found here:
http://thesis.erikdebruijn.nl/master/MScThesis-ErikDeBruijn-2010.pdf

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  • Supervisors -> enabling me to do this work
    R O'Callaghan: given the little time he could spare, it's really wonderful that he made an exception
    Then, I'd like to thank Jeroen de Jong, to a large extent for making it possible for me to do this research, providing many suggestions and in general being a great mentor.
    Last, but certainly not least, I'd like to say that I'm very honored with the virtual presence of
    EvH
    Non-technical presentation
  • Who of you uses OSS? Who of you has used google or has browsed the web?
    - Everyone uses it
    - Economically significant phenomenon (2.7 million developers, hundreds of thousands OSS projects)
    - Widely researched
    So what about open source hardware?
  • “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.”
    This property of idea's, information and even software is much more important today than in the days of Thomas Jefferson
  • Information GOODS
    Likewise, our software goods
    Who should society make responsible for producing idea's, knowledge and software? Private firms, or public institutions like this university?
    A central question becomes:
  • ONE answer was given Jospeph Schupeter:
    “If one wants to induce firms to undertake R&D
    one must accept the creation of monopolies
    as a necessary evil.”
    Neccesary? Assumption that is challenged more and more evidence. vH and my own.
  • If producers have the control to restrict the spreading of value to everyone,....
    limiting other companies from offering, or limiting the spreading of information goods
  • NEXT
  • ...some people will pay for it, so they can keep developing other, profitable, products.
    Kinds of products they develop most -> large & low-risk markets. For highly original idea's, market acceptance is uncertain.
  • The reasoning is, in short: In order to develop idea's, a company needs to be able to make money through exclusion.
    society grants a temporary monopoly
    But, are firms to only ones with good ideas? They look for large markets, certainty to sell products.
    Can they earn money if there is no legal protection? It appears, yes.
    But is this for-profit, firm centric and market motivated the only source of idea's?
  • Many people with idea's out there
  • What would REALLY be perfect?
    If they could GIVE their idea's away for free, to everyone!
    What would be perfect?
  • If they collaborated and could build on each other's ideas
    Vary on: motives, knowledge, experience and live in diff. Environments
    So, for participating in open source development, what do these motives look like?
  • - Intellectual challenge & achievement“Technically challenging, fun potentially useful, developing skills.”
    - Autonomy
    - Benefits
    - Relatedness / community
    - Meaning”Hope to change the world by democratizing design and manufacture of material goods. good for freedom, good for planet.”
  • I've found over 5 years, this community has doubled every 6 months
    Currently close to 5000 developers. How does that relate to firm-based innovation?
  • Today, the level of innovation by a collaborating community is very close to that of the industry
  • Well, you can transfer images and video (dance moves, painting techniques), software over the internet at an almost zero cost. But of course this is not the case for physical things... or is it? That is why people often assume that it's not an area where these dynamics will work. Everyone in the community will have costs!
    But if the incentives are a strong enough motivator, a low supply of money, while still an issue, doesn't have to stop people from developing things.
    The designs for physical objects can be encoded computer design files. These will then have many of the same properties as information products like software.
  • Fabrication technology
    Lot's of variety is created (some focus on cost, ease-of-use, others on the ability to self-assemble, others on self-replication)
  • Money: costs to innovate are radically lowered, more and more.
    More ambitions projects are possible, such a complex robotics systems
  • Erik's Master's Defense

    1. 1. Thesis Defense Erik de Bruijn Nov. 8th 2010 Prof. dr. ir. R. O'Callaghan Prof. dr. P.M.A. Ribbers Dr. J.J.O. de Jong Prof. E. A. von Hippel
    2. 2. Open source software - Everyone uses it - Economically significant phenomenon - Widely researched So what about open source hardware?
    3. 3. “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” - Thomas Jefferson
    4. 4. With today's internet
    5. 5. How can we best provide society with goods? “If one wants to induce firms to undertake R&D one must accept the creation of monopolies as a necessary evil.” - Schumpeter
    6. 6. Producers and exclusion
    7. 7. Producers and exclusion
    8. 8. Producers and exclusion
    9. 9. How can we best provide society with goods? Firm based producers
    10. 10. How can we best provide society with goods? Global collaboration
    11. 11. How can we best provide society with goods? Global collaboration
    12. 12. How can we best provide society with goods?
    13. 13. Motives - Intellectual challenge & achievement “Technically challenging, fun potentially useful, developing skills.” - Autonomy - Benefits - Relatedness / community - Meaning ”Hope to change the world by democratizing design and manufacture of material goods. good for freedom, good for planet.”
    14. 14. Community growth 4~5 x Moore's Law
    15. 15. Proliferation of OS Fab. Equip. Yearly growth 2005-2010: 400–600% Yearly growth & decline 2006-2009: -17%–17%
    16. 16. Just idea's? What about? - Cultural works - Software - Physical things?
    17. 17. Infrastructure - Self-provided by community - Fabrication technology - Sharing infrastructure
    18. 18. The means to do Open Design  Money?  Community • Access to knowledge, spreading workload, etc.  Infrastructure  Fabricators  Sharing platforms  A commons of physical designs
    19. 19. Thank you!

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