Challenges of Open Source Consumer Products

In the last few years Open Source has grown from an untested ideal into a thriving community. Every year more Open Source products are announced, and existing products reach a larger and larger audience. As our community has developed we are encountering new challenges created by our own growth and success.
One of these challenges comes from people who break the Unwritten Rules of Open Source. From exact clones through deceptively named derivatives, some bad actors just want to mine value from the community, rather than contribute.

How does an Open Source company handle these problems? What is the best way to support open innovation, without risking bad actors poisoning the pool of innovation? We will talk about these issues, and discuss the experiments MakerBot (and others) are doing in the face of these new challenges.


About Bre Pettis
Bre Pettis is CEO of MakerBot industries which is setting the standard in desktop 3D printing. He’s also a cofounder of Thingiverse and can be blamed for the Brooklyn hackerspace NYCResistor. In the past he’s also been a puppeteer, schoolteacher, and videographer.

About Far McKon
Far McKon is a developer of software, hardware, and community. By day, Far is the Nerd Herder at MakerBot, where he helps create amazing software to run on fantastic hardware. At night he moonlights as a gardener, bicycle nut, and developer-at-large. Far’s work in Wiki, Housing Cooperatives and Hackerspace scene all tie back to one passion: Epic Wins Through Cooperation.