Re: [rp-ml] Kickstarter RP "Kit" Project

From: G. Sachs <>
Date: Sat Dec 17 2011 - 23:10:22 EET

I told you having IP was pretty important (if you want to actually get paid for
your work)! As you can tell, I'm not real big on the "open-source" and
"crowd-source" model (craze?) for developing new technologies, both because the
original innovators usually don't get compensated (fairly) for all their hard
work and because of what you said about "quality" (i.e. not being so important
anymore - don't think Steve Jobs would have approved either). On the other hand,
I guess no one forces people to contribute to open-source projects and they can
be especially good for helping to do some really inventive and "insanely great"
things and for producing innovations geared at the developing world and poorer
countries, that simply can't afford expensive new, or proprietary,
technologies. Just heard of a new diagnostic "chip" (actually just an engineered
piece of paper), that can analyze dozens of liver enzymes, in just a couple of
minutes that will cost less than $1 (replacing much lengthier and tedious tests
that cost 100s of dollars)! Now THAT"s progress! This could have HUGE
ramifications in Africa and many other poor countries (particularly in
connection with safer AIDS treatment).

Having said this, I do think Kickstarter and some of the other alternatives to
traditional "venture capital" are pretty neat, particularly since it has become
even harder to get the traditional sources of venture capital (VCs, governments
and private investors) to take any kind of risks anymore (everyone wants a
guaranteed return). I also think it's a great way to fund the arts, since they
usually CAN'T get anything from regular investors (don't offer any financial
rewards). And, I think VCs now devote less than 1% of their funds to actual
start-ups (and those not coming out of universities probably get even less than
this). everyone wants to know make money, fast, without having to take any long
term risks - that's no way to fund innovation that could take 5-10 years of

G. Sachs

From: Markus Hitter <>
To: Jonathan <>
Cc: Rp-ml <>
Sent: Fri, December 16, 2011 7:46:27 PM
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Kickstarter RP "Kit" Project

Am 16.12.2011 um 19:04 schrieb Jonathan:

> anyone seen this Kickstarter project?

Yes. It's unbelievable what kind of money flows just for a promise. I talked to
a few purchasers and the essence is:

- In their view it's perfectly normal to pay $750 for a set of unassembled parts
worth $300. Plase note, Printrbot claims the numbers it's self and the parts
lists will be open source as soon as the first printer ships.

- Apparently, many people send money just because a lot of others did already.
Some sort of rush.

- They're glad somebody finally makes a kit. The other about two dozen RepRap
kit providers are apparently not seen at all, much less they consider buying
from (mechanics-/electronics-/extruder-)specialists.

- The RepRap market is reeeaally big. Like tens of thousands of machines.


- Proven quality doesn't matter, promising hassle-freeness is worth ten times

- Offering options, like specific feature sets, is more than questionable.

- With open source hardware, developers collect the work, kit vendors collect
the money.

Markus Hitter

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Dipl. Ing. (FH) Markus Hitter
Received on Sat Dec 17 23:15:50 2011

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