Open Source

Open source originally applies to developers who make the source code for their software available for modification and enhancement for anyone. It's a way of customization and improvement that is based on open collaboration. But now it reflects a mindset that can be applied to diverse projects and products that thrive on open exchange, collaboration, and community. Some of these projects include 3D printing, computer software and hardware, architecture, and machinery. The mindset also connects to developments in data sharing, crowd funding, and education. Making source code available allows applications to be applied in markets and situations that were not initially anticipated such as local governments and emergency service providers. Though the broad applications of open sourcing can be difficult to quantify for businesses and individuals, here are a few examples of the savings. A company in China using 3D printing reported a reduction of costs by half. Their 105,000 villa only took 30 days to build with eight people. This could have a tremendous impact on housing in developing and developed urban areas. People who print household items could save from $300 to $2000 dollars a year. Further, with open source computer chip software people can build products for themselves that are specifically designed to meet their needs. Other organizations are saving 45%-67% of the costs of producing critical machinery like tractors, ovens, balers, or even cars. Using open source software has enabled companies like Netflix to provide services for $8 because they use open source software. The use of open sourcing is significant to businesses who can reduce costs and continue to innovate, thus reducing costs to consumers, and providing them more opportunities to make Million Dollar Choices and providing exciting opportunities for earning income.

Rachel Botsman: The Currency of the New Economy is Trust Rachel Botsman

Professor Botsman discusses how collaborative consumption (driven by network technologies that enable the exchange of assets in ways never before possible) has created micro-prenuers and made reputation one of the most valuable assets. People who are making million dollar choices should be aware of different services that will save them time and money through sharing instead of purchasing. 

Luis Von Ahn: Massive Scale Online Collaboration Luis von Ahn

Captcha developer, Professor von Ahn, helps people to solve 10 seconds of a world problem of digitizing books with the reCaptcha initiative. He's applied the principle of massive collaboration to language translation of the web with (then-upcoming) application Duolingo. 

Alastair Parvin: Architecture for the People by the People Alastair Parvin

Parvin shows how architects traditionally work for 1% of the population when instead they should be focused on providing solutions to all, not products for a few. With WikiHouse he's shown how open source construction can democratize production and solve infrastructure problems. People should learn from his reminder not to reinvent the wheel, to look forward to creative, economic housing solutions, and to be driven by solutions not products. 

Shimon Shocken: The Self-organizing Computer Course - Simon Schoken

University professor Simon Schoken created a class which capitalized on people's innate desire to learn. The program teaches students to build a computer from the ground up. The open online course has led to innovative improvements in the technology. Prosperous people are driven and have more opportunities than ever before to learn the skills they need for their careers and personal pursuits. 

Massimo Banzi: How Arduino is Open-Sourcing Imagination - Massimo Banzi

Arduino is an open-sourcing motherboard project that allows people to develop ideas, learn the fundamentals of computing, and then build whatever they need. The project also includes plans for a 3D printer that you can have at home to print the things you may individually need. The million dollar choice is to turn more things into do-it-yourself projects that save on labor and material costs while adding educational and self-reliance value. 

Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking Amanda Palmer

Musician Amanda Palmer describes how the personal connections she's developed with her fans with the internet and in person have allowed her to ask them to pay for her music and provide services for her band. Entrepreneurs can make million dollar choices by asking people to give rather than forcing them to pay. Amanda raised $1.2 million through crowd funding, exceeding their goal of $100,000. 

Jennifer Pahlka: Coding a Better Government Jennifer Pahlka

Coders worked in local governments for year and developed helpful open source applications like "Adopt a Fire Hydrant" that saved 9 city governments millions of dollars in development and implementation costs. Governments produced programs that rely on citizens rather than government services to meet their needs. Concerned citizens can foster wiser use of their tax dollars by encouraging their governments to better reflect the internet: permissionless, open, and generative. 

John Wilbanks: Let's Pool Our Medical Data John Wilbanks

Wilbanks describes how informed consent is silo-ing important research data instead of sharing it to create benefits breakthroughs in health research. People can make smarter choices by choosing to be more open with their medical data to researchers that could create the cures to key illnesses that 

Clay Shirky: How Cognitive Surplus Will Change the World Clay Shirky

The world has 1 trillion years of freetime which Clay Shirky hopes they will use to create things that have civic value instead of communal value. He cites the web application Ushahidi that was initially used to track crisis development during the Kenyan elections but has been adopted in many foreign countries for other purposes. Programs like these will allow people to save money by adapting existing code, have access to authentic information that they need, and contribute their ideas to help others. 

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced Blue Prints for Civilization Marcin Jakubowski

Jakubowski worked with a team to develop open source blue prints for the machines and tools that are essential for modern civilization. They focused on open source hardware that can reduce costs dramatically, especially for the developing world. Smart consumers will be able to build their own essential technologies without having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for farming equipment.