Open Source Business Models for Circular Economy Video Series (7)

VIDEO 7 – Square 4: ‘Benefits of the Network’

From a Video Series about ‘Open Source Business Models for Circular Economy’ – produced for the Open Source Circular Economy Days (OSCEdays). See our original post on Open Source Circular Economy Days for the complete set of resources: tool downloads, explanations, videos, script, links.


How can the roles benefit?

In square two of the tool we listed potential roles and actors of the ecosystem.

In this square we ask for the potential benefits THEY could have from becoming a part of it. This will allow us to truly understand how to motivate them. And make sure that everything is in place for them. What is in for them?

Many of the benefits for the roles are the same as the benefits for you. When an ecosystem results into a better and stronger product this is something all parties involved benefit from – from customers to companies.

I will now list potential benefits. Again very general ones. For a specific case you will probably be able to name more specific benefits. A longer list with examples you might find in the resources for the video.

Ok. potential benefit Number one and maybe the most important one:

  • The can make an Income – In many cases this will be the strongest motivation. If they
    can make an income by adding to the open ecosystem or being part of it they will be able to dedicate a lot more time. And they have an incentive to deliver good quality. There are a lot of ways how people can make an income. We will talk about this in square 6 also. Sell things repair them support them recycle them and so on. Arduino is again a good example. Remember the shields I talked about in video number 3 and also the people who are doing professional prototyping with Arduinos.

Another potential benefit is:

  • Do an existing job better – If professionals use richer products they might be able to do their jobs faster and cheaper and deliver a different kind of quality. For example when teaching with an Arduino you have this huge and dynamic knowledge base at your disposal. And with Arduino students also learn how to use the web to solve engineering problems. The other example I gave is WordPress that enables independent web designers to set up great looking websites very quickly.

Another potential benefit is:

  • They find a stage – An open ecosystem comes with communication and attention. “Stages” to step on to get visibility and gain social capital. And visibility and social capital can often be transferred into economic capital. If they see you being an expert in a field they might hire you. There are many examples from the software world where companies first look at contributions someone made to an open source project before they hire. But maybe they weren’t even looking for a new employee. But found one while checking out some resources.

Another potential benefit is

  • They get freedom – Open design is easier to adapt. People can make modifications. Or hire someone to do it. I already mentioned that it is easier to trust Open Designs. Because if something breaks down you don’t rely on a specific company or person to fix it. Others can do the job including yourself. A while ago I met a family that owns a factory. In this factory they have all kinds of machines running. They depend on these machines. And they say they would love to have them Open Source. Because then they could fix them faster. Currently they depend on a very expensive and very slow service provided by the manufacturer of the machines. “Open source gives people the freedom to control their technology.” As the definition for Open Source Hardware says LINK.

Ok. So much for the potential benefits of the other actors in the ecosystem. If you start to think about specific projects you’ll probably find more specific benefits. Please feel free to share them in the resources for this video.

Once you have understood the benefits for the other actors you can make sure everything is in place so they really start to engage.

And this is what I am going to talk about in the next video – in video number 8. It is about “Channels or Infrastructures for Exchange.”


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