As you know, 3DR released Solo nearly a year ago and since then has been firmly focused on extending its capabilities. While many of our legacy products, including IRIS+ and X8+, continue to serve customers well, their time in the 3DR store has come to an end.
At the end of January, we will officially sunset most of our legacy products; they will no longer be available for purchase from 3DR. As such, I invite you to visit our store today for your last orders of IRIS+, X8+ accessories, FPV equipment, cables and more!
After the end of January, we will continue to sell products in the Solo and Pixhawk families. We will also offer a small selection of IRIS+ accessories and consumables (batteries, propellers, and so forth) through the end of March. And, of course, we will continue to offer the same excellent customer and technical support (including replacement components) for our legacy products.
Thanks to you all for your constant support of 3DR. We continue to work to bring you the best drone experiences in the world and to enable you to get the shot every time.
I didn't mean to infer that you can't make money from open source, in fact quite the opposite is true. That's why I said: Of course it is also possible to leverage the good will of many for the benefit of an individuals wealth.
One of the biggest hurdles with open source is to procure funding for development as it by definition can't secure itself against competition.
As Andreas pointed out, Google is a good example of how to overcome that, where they use open source type ideas and systems (like linux and the internet) to produce a money making service, that can target advertising to specific consumer groups. They don't sell the "open source" component, they sell advertising of third party products, by leveraging that system like a freight company would a public road. They supply services for "free", even int he guise of open source, in order to secure your patronage to their services, so that they can make money by being able to deliver targeted advertising to your screen every time you search for something.
The whole financial system operates on the basis of selling something for more than it cost them. The interent is a massive lever that can reach billions of potential customers. Some even manage to add value in the process, others just do it because they can aka monopolies. Corp-o-rate entities are mandated by law to make profit and monopolies are good at that, and are consequently supported by regulation.
Regardless of this, all financial gain is a direct result of the belief that we can in fact "own" something. That it can only used by "me" and that no-one is entitled to take it away from me no matter what. The result of this greed is the financial system we live in. I want to buy this, google advertises that, we buy that using credit** that we earn by trading the only true, one time use currency we have, our time.
Freedom is not a result of voting in leadership, it is the result of what we can afford to do, and actually have the time to do it. :(
**The fiat money that we use globally is in fact a debt note - not a payment. Take a look at the American dollar bill where it says: This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private. Note being a note in a ledger - hence the serial number, legal as in "by law" or decree*, and tender as in "offer". It is in fact an offer for payment that can also NOT be accepted as payment. *(decree being little more than an announcement of an intention to act a certain way)
In principle the seller has the right to fair compensation for the goods they own and can sell, otherwise it is considered theft. Transfer of ownership occurs when the seller agrees to the compensation given. For example: If I offer a stranger on the street $5 for him to jump in the air, he would likely only pay me a funny look. If I give him $500, he's likely to jump. If I have an apple I could trade it for an orange, if that's what I want, but if someone offers me a carrot instead, which I don't want, I'm not obliged to trade. Money allows for partial compromises too, where I might agree to trade my apple for half an orange, or me obtain it through a proxy who trades apples, oranges and carrots, resulting in what is known as bargaining.
Money only lubricates trade activity by providing a representative token method to displace time and availability of goods and services offered for trade. It is not actually a payment until one has traded the money (credit) for a good or service. You can't do much with money, apart from burn it or using it as wall paper like they did after WW1 in Germany because of the high inflation. Take a parched man in the desert with a thousand dollar bill. How much would he pay for a bottle of water? The economic pressure created by the credit of fake fiat money forces submission of all those that use it. It is a debt note that demands payment through common belief in it's value, that it doesn't in fact actually have.
The main problem is that fiat money is no longer representative of any intrinsic value in itself ie the gold standard (which wasn't worth much in the end either). Fiat money is by government degree. (but issued by a private company - which is another story in itself). For a degree to be accepted it requires unfailing faith in that decree (or idea) for it to work. Market "confidence" is a result in a failing of the trust of those values. It is through that belief that it is made to work, a belief and culture we are indoctrinated into from birth. It even says it on the dollar bill: "In God we trust" ie believe in money. It is a faith based system, one that allows greed and the resulting profit to be promoted above all else, even romanticized as 'the dream", regardless of the consequential cost on society, the poor that are enslaved by it, and the detriment to all life on the planet. In regards to who the poor is consider that Credit Suisse recently announced 1% of the population owns 50% of global worth.
When people point at others and say "sell out", it typically means they have abandoned the original intent of the idea, typically for their own financial gain. Don't be surprised that by the ubiquitous use of a corrupt system that people are corrupted in what they pretend to believe.
JB, companies who are smart about making money from open source software (see, Canonical, Red Hat, Google) gamble that, by and large customers want turn key solutions and support. Putting code out there is only a small part of the whole business model that a good company provides (or, to put in another way, if churning out code is the only thing your company does, you are doing it wrong).
@JB, so how does the Linux work? There are many successful business within that ecosystem. Both users, and service providers.
I generally get what you're saying. There's a conflict between "giving your work away for free" and business which is interested in maximizing profit.
@ JB +1
The main issue with anything "open source", is that it is directly at odds with conventional business principles, where it's deemed "necessary" to protect the intellectual property of a product. The reason for this is that protecting one's source results in the competition not being easily able to copy and use one's own intellectual property against oneself and poach customers. It reduces the potential for competition by legally binding the rights, be they earned or only perceived rights, to those proponents that have the means to pay for such protection, and not necessarily to those it might belong.
As a result it is nigh impossible, under a capitalist based free market, to be both successful in "business" and support an open source community, with the same idea at the same time. The reward of one is not the same reward that can sustain the other. Directly, there is no flow of money required for the nature of open source, it only requires good will and charity to propagate. But for business it is "essential" to be compensated financially, otherwise the business fails. Of course it is also possible to leverage the good will of many for the benefit of an individuals wealth.
Further the goals of these concepts are opposite of each-other, in that a "business" wants to benefit itself by making a profit from users, from an idea it "owns", whilst the goal of open source is to improve an idea for the benefit of those that contribute, utilize and share ownership of that idea.
Consequently this is the result of believing in the fallacy of private ownership. Mine and therefore not yours. We are born with nothing and that is all we get to take with when we depart. Nobody can claim to have a 100% original idea that wasn't in some way influenced by someone else. In fact all ideas are ours in common. The ownership fallacy is a corrupt and dangerous ideology that is the seed of both war and enslavement.
This is evident in the language used, where "I" replaces the "us". As they say, there is no I in team.
A sustainable community, is a group of individuals working together, for each-other, each co-dependent time-share stewards of this little blue planet (or idea!) we call ours!
It will only ever be ours for a time and that time will pass. Whilst we are here, it is our duty to teach the next generation so they are better stewards than us, and that we can say we left it in a better state than it was given to us. ;-)
Assertion: "3DR also no longer sells the standalone hardware for the Ardupilot community."
CA: "We continue to sell Pixhawk and its accessories and have promised to continue doing so for years"
Fact: 3DR is selling off the existing stock of hardware but not manufacturing anymore. The remaining stock is an incomplete selection of hardware at best. If you don't sell a complete selection to get the job done then you really aren't doing what you used to do. Analogy: You can't say you selling the car when you are only selling the engine, the rear view mirror, and a seat belt buckle.
Assertion: "3DR has turned its back on the DIY and Ardupilot Community"
CA: I started both of those (you are, after all, writing this on my own DIY Drones site) and as I said we are funding both to the tune of ~$300,000 in 2016.
Fact: Starting something has nothing to do with continuing something.
Theory: This website did start as a DIY website with DIY intentions but it is now viewed by 3DR as a captive audience for advertising Solo and solo related hardware. I'm guessing that 300K you made sound like its coming out of your personal pocket shows up in the advertising line on your 3DR tax forms. Would I be incorrect?
Things do have to evolve, understood. Looking forward to the evolution. In the big picture you are right. It just seems awfully quick as these new platforms are simply not here ... yet.
Marc: This is simply a matter of us evolving, and supporting some things more and other things less. Change is hard for communities but as our priorities change, how we spend our funding does too. Remember that supporting contractors is not lifetime employment: they were paid to complete certain projects and they did a great job of that. But as projects are completed, contracts end. In particular, we, like the rest of the industry, are moving to mobile GCSs rather than desktop GCSs so we don't need to fund those desktop projects anymore.
This is absolutely normal in the technology industry. I don't even know why I have to explain it. Are these trends not obvious to everyone?
ChrisM: You're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to make up your own facts:
Assertion: "3DR also no longer sells the standalone hardware for the Ardupilot community." Fact: We continue to sell Pixhawk and its accessories and have promised to continue doing so for years.
Assertion: "3DR has turned its back on the DIY and Ardupilot Community". Fact: I started both of those (you are, after all, writing this on my own DIY Drones site) and as I said we are funding both to the tune of ~$300,000 in 2016.
You can't just keep saying these things while I'm writing checks for a third of million dollars to prove the opposite.
At a certain point you have to just admit that I've put my money where my mouth is. Check your facts.