Let me introduce myself
I got my eyes on technology 15 years ago when I was creating a website for my elementary school band. Without any prior knowledge I started looking at my favorite band website (Necrophagist at that time) and really wanted my own band website to look like that. Not long after, I found out that it was possible to see the underlying code for the design of any webpage. After a quick webdesign tutorial I started copying cool features from different webpages to finally build my own band website. This was my first tech project of many to come, without realizing it at the time that project introduced me to the hacking mentality of FOSS and OSHW which brings me to the thread topic...
Why FOSS is ahead of OSHW
In my introduction I gave you an example of how FOSS contributed to my fist tech project by the sharing of the source code and how I then contributed by the sharing my altered version of that code. My first FOSS project shares one shortcoming with many OSHW projects of today: The inability to contribute back to the original project. I belive the success of FOSS is closely linked to the ability for many to work and contribute to a project.
The collaboration is easly done in software development by push and pull request and both the original auther and the contributor can easly verify the result by compiling the source code. We can already see the use of push pull request in OSHW development, but its failing because implementing the contribution to the master branch requires the original auther to verify the changes. The verification of hardware is done by producing a physical prototype of the new version and test it, this is both expensive and time consuming which is causing resistance to collaborate in OSHW.
Applying FOSS DNA to OSHW projects
I belive we need remove friction in the verification process of a push pull request in OSHW development. In order to remove this friction, I propose that the PCBA fabs and OSHW projects should cooperate more closely.
My offer to the OSHW community
I do run a PCBA factory www.svenskelektronikproduktion.se/en and we want to cooperate with OSHW projects that we find interesting by offering free prototype and verification services to help them launch,maintain and update their product. In return we want to produce the product for the original auther so that the original auther can sell the product for a profit. We can also assist with disribution of the product and ofcourse share the profit with the auther. Please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Please provide suggestions start a discussion in this thread on how to increase the popularity of OSHW. What can the fabs, the community and OSHW projects authers improve on?