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Ravi Pujar
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Embedded systems engineer, Founder @Valetron Systems, Blogger @www.raviyp.com
 · DharwadIndia
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How to survive by building things that are open source and free for everyone?

I always wanted to build products that are open and free for everyone to use. How can we build things that are completely open and still keep the research and development funded and going ?
Steven Reubenstone Robert Lancer
Harsha Alva

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Ranjan Dailata
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Application Architect/Lead Developer
 · ChicagoU.S.
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If you decide to go with the hardware open source, folks are allowed to clone/copy and produce their own brand. However, they are not allowed to use your product name.

Ravi - But, once everything is open source even with any kind of license we can’t prevent the product from being copied and original developers become irrelevant and clones will start ruling the market.

The concept of open source is to make everything open including the design to manufacture, software etc. An individual is allowed to use the design and come up with his/her own product. So there’s no blame of clones or duplicates. It’s same problem for Arduino too - https://www.arduino.cc/en/Products/Counterfeit. There’s a difference between counterfeit vs the ones which are manufactured based on the original design and sold with a different name and logo.

Please follow this article to understand the licensing mechanism - http://www.inmojo.com/licenses/

PS - Arduino would not become popular if it’s not released as open source at first.

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Ravi Pujar
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Embedded systems engineer, Founder @Valetron Systems, Blogger @www.raviyp.com
 · DharwadIndia
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Yes i understand that, But how we can sustain the development for next products. What possible revenue sources can we think of to keep development team/company from shutting down ?

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Ranjan Dailata
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 · ChicagoU.S.
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Nothing can stop you from coming up with new versions. Open sourcing in turn lets everyone know which also includes the investors. There are high changes of tie up with you for producing a cost effective product or enhance the same. On the other hand, folks will fork and bring their own versions which you can also incorporate.

In order for the development companies to sustain, you can always sell accessories, device, software as a package etc. with additional cost. There are two aspects of it. The device can be open sourced, however the accessories may or may not be. Also with the software part, you can constantly develop and sell the applications targeting the device.

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Ravi Pujar
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Embedded systems engineer, Founder @Valetron Systems, Blogger @www.raviyp.com
 · DharwadIndia
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Ranjan Dailata
Investors are not an option, The end goal will be to generate open source projects and still generate revenue to sustain the development team over time.
We will not have accessories for product like VALTRACK-V2. May be we might come up with something in future, not sure.
Let use consider the VALTRACK-V2 for now,
How can i make the product open source? Should i do it or not is also the question?
How to generate revenue out of it still after doing this.

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Ranjan Dailata
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Here’s how the open sourcing works, one cannot expect constant funding for his/her open source work. Making it open source or not is up to you. Your end goal is conflicting as your idea of open source and generating revenue is different. That’s not how open source works. The product being open source is fine, let industries use it and will come back to you about enhancement or changes, for that you can charge.

Investors are the key and you cannot forget them. They are the ones who’s going to fund you for your development, enhancements etc. Without them, you are on your own. So it’s up to you now.

If you know how a million or billion dollar funding goes for open source products like Deepstream, Arduino then you will come to know the value of investors.

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Ravi Pujar
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Embedded systems engineer, Founder @Valetron Systems, Blogger @www.raviyp.com
 · DharwadIndia
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Yes Ranjan,
I am trying to resolve the conflict. I guess i will concentrate on generating revenue part of it now.
I understand the value of investors, but i am not looking into millions in fund. I just want to sustain a 3 or 4 member developer team with minimum expense and grow slowly. I guess, no investors should be needed for that.

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Really helped 😃

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