Archivos para abril, 2011

This year will become the year of mass customization. First, the MCPC 2011 Conference promises to become the biggest networking and knoweldge event ever. But it will be only at the end of November 2011… Before, there is a great opportunity for everyone in Europe to meet and network: Supported by the European Commission, a consortium of European companies and research organisations is hosting the Create Your Own 2011 (CYO 2011) event in Berlin, Germany, May 30 and 31st, 2011.

The term “Create Your Own” denotes a growing trend of start-ups and corporate entrepreneurship in Europe to create offerings catering to the creative consumer and serving the personalisation movement.

Together with local post-industrial design collective Cookies And Code and RWTH Aachen, EU research projects OpenGarment and SERVIVE will bring the vibrant global conversation about the future of making and selling personalised goods and services to Berlin.

The group is presenting its first annual “Create Your Own” event on Monday May 30, 2011 at the IMA Design Village in Berlin (17-20 h).  The opening event will feature over fifty co-creation entrepreneurs, makers, researchers, technology experts, policy maker, and investors from around Europe. A press conference and special exhibition will present the makers and shapers of personalisation and customisation in Europe to a wider audience,

On the following day, May 31, a full day business seminar will provide a detailed look at innovative European start-ups that are quite literally giving the people what they want. At the seminar, plenary presentations and panels will look into the market for mass customisation, new business models connected with the trend, and the latest technologies that make it happen.

The event “Create Your Own 2011″ is a unique opportunity to explore the reality and future behind individualisation, co-creation, and personalisation — mega trends that are shaping the European consumption landscape.

The CYO event has three core objectives.

  1. Give participants a thorough overview of what is happening today, what can be learned from the past, and what future already is here from key thought leaders in the field.
  2. Help people in different fields of practice to explore how they can use mass customisation, co-creation and personalisation to get more out of what they do as a creative producer. This purpose will be served by a special workshop, the “Mass Customization incubator”.
  3. Showcase some of the best and most promising products and customization offerings to a general public.

All information and registration at

Frank Piller (RWTH/MIT)


Open Source Hardware (OSHW) finally has an official definition. On Feb. 9, theOpen Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles and Definition v1.0was published.

The basic motivation of OSHW is to give people “the freedom to control their technology while sharing knowledge and encouraging commerce through the open exchange of designs.” (Note the explicit relation to “commerce”, as this is as much to act as an economic principle as it is one of knowledge management and enabling innovation).

Last year, I participated at the “Open Hardware Summit” in New York city, a large gathering of people interested in bringing the open source software idea to hardware products.The participants of the Summit were a very interesting and eclectic crowd, starting a really great debate on the opportunities, but also the challenges of OSHW (obviously, the opportunities won).

As a core result of the debate started at the summit, now finally the official version of theOpen Source Hardware (OSHW) Statement of Principles and Definition v1.0has been published. This release can be seen as profound and game-changing as the original “Open Source Definition,” created by Bruce Perens and the Debian developers as the “Debian Free Software Guidelines” in 1997. In the open hardware definition, OSHW is defined as:

“hardware whose design is made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design or hardware based on that design. The hardware’s source, the design from which it is made, is available in the preferred format for making modifications to it… Ideally, open source hardware uses readily-available components and materials, standard processes, open infrastructure, unrestricted content, and open-source design tools to maximize the ability of individuals to make and use hardware.”

The definition then states 12 criteria that characterize OSHW.

I believe that the publishing of this definition could have an equally, of even wider, impact as the OSS movement. While not all hardware will be open, working on a license that allows hardware products to be designed, produced, and reproduced under these rules may start a new manufacturing movement that may change the way how products are designed and distributed (if only engineering students would have good and up-to-date mandatory classes in law and IP – as this is not the case it are the economists and management professors like me that care about the things while the average engineering student is being educated in a traditional way of IP and patents).

By the way, OSHW is exactly one of the interfaces between customization and open innovation that we want to discuss in larger detail during the MCPC 2011 conference in San Francisco in Nov 2011.

Frank Piller (RWTH/MIT)