8 Innovative Ideas for Open Source Beyond Software

Do you agree that Open Source just can’t be applied on software only? Open source philosophy can be applied to any given domain. Over the years open source has proved its potential and there is no brainer that open source model CANNOT work(Off course some dopeheaded VCs still think there is no money in open source! – Who cares!).

But overall, open source is much much beyond just software field. Its more about sharing things. Sharing innovative stuff with you colleagues. I always think about RMS’ words that building a good software is like making a delicious dish. And there are always fellow cooks around to share the recipies.

In another article by Sonali K. Shah and Danese Cooper they say

If you did not share… [others] would not be able to keep up with you. To do or experience something new and fantastic or go another step faster isn’t much fun when you shout ‘Wow! Did you see that!’ and nobody is there to hear you..

I’d like my readers to discuss with me innovative ideas where open source can be used beyond software.

Here are some of my thoughts:

1. Open Source in Space : Space technology can be really more innovative if scientist would use an open source model. The technology could be open so that private groups could fund and adopt

2. Open Source in Retail: I know of a system where the suppliers and retailer would disclose all their profits to their customers. Customers get an advantage of not getting cheated by unknown profit percentage and on the other hand retailers would form a community and sell products.

3. Open source in Mechanics: I am not sure if you guys have heard about MultiMachine: Its an open source all purpose machine which can be built by any semi skilled mechanic. Surprised? Read more about it here: http://opensourcemachine.org/the-multimachine

4. Open source Beer Project: Wow! Sounds fun: Yes, its true… These guys share their beer recipe to the world! More about it at : http://www.opensourcebeerproject.com/

5. Open Source Toys Project: The LLUG (Ladies’ Linux Users Group (in Japan)) started with this concept. They have released paper patterns (they dub this: “source code”) and recipes (“documents”) for four toys by now, and two of them have been distributed as “hand-made kits” (“distributions”). Catch more of it here

6. Open source in Hardware: “Morphy One” is an open source hardware development project in Japan.It claimed to be the first IBM PC/AT compatible- architecture-based palmtop PC produced only by users. The project aims to put out all the data on its development process and specifications under GPL.

7. Open Source in Agriculture: Ever thought of open-source DNA? Could that be the key to agricultural innovation and feeding an ever-growing population? Currently many companies hold patents on crucial agricultural biotechnologies: However, Richard Jefferson believes that those few companies could be using those patents to dominate then destroy an industry. Typically when a company makes an invention, it files for a patent and does not freely share the invention! Could there be something like open source patents?

8. Open source in Politics: How about  a politician disclosing all his moves? Sounds crazy! But there are groups which can form such a model. There is already a concept of Professional Parties where a bunch of professionals form a political party and stand for an election. Who knows if Open source Politics could take this one step further?

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