Article: Open source hardware as a profit-maximizing strategy of downstream firms

Circuits, Open Manufacturing, Open Source

Open source hardware as a profit-maximizing strategy of downstream firms

This paper characterizes and explores a corporate strategy in which downstream firms collaborate to develop open substitute designs for proprietary hardware they would otherwise purchase from upstream suppliers.

This strategy centrally involves customers themselves distributing design costs over multiple customers â?? a strategy that is routine to producers selling to multiple customers, but which has been impractical for coalitions of customers until fairly recently. Today customers find it increasingly feasible to co-design products they may all purchase due to two technological trends.

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