Target audiences


It may be that the blog reaches more people on RCGroups than DIY Drones.  The audience of both tends to be the same RC pilots, not electronics designers, but RC Groups tends to be frequented by more electronics designers while DIY Drones is frequented by more absolute beginners. 

Because of the lack of jobs, the Marcy class aircraft have tended to shift more towards a product than an open source hobby.  Had a rare opportunity to fly her in a large room, because someone paid to have a pretty difficult autonomous feature put in Marcy 1.  For a few days, only 2 people in the world saw a vehicle do what she did, for the cost.

Also got to fly her manually, in a large room.  The 1st manual indoor flight in her 3 year history showed exactly how stable she is. 

So that difficult autonomous feature is top secret & the brains of Marcy aircraft are becoming more secret, over time.  15 years of doing 1 open source project or another have never yielded any career benefits from the open source aspect of it.  They might care about the final product or the experience from developing it, but no-one ever offered a job because the source code was free & no-one who copied my source code to advance their job ever offered a pat on the back.

Part of the problem is it takes a lot more support than development for the open source aspect to gain enough popularity that it enhances your career.  You have to be more of an organizer & the development has to be more in line with what the masses look for in other products right now, not a science project.  Compromises like a 4Hz update when you'd like 30Hz or a clunky touch screen interface when you'd like a bulletproof tactile interface have to be accepted, because the platform has to be what the masses want right now.

In open source RC projects more than web servers, the developers tend to have jobs other than programming.  They're competent enough at programming to make a career out of it, yet they're not offered jobs & they don't seem to seek any. 

What seems to be happening is people who work on web servers are interested in software for its own sake.  People who work on RC projects are using software as a tool to solve another problem that they're more interested in.  The economy is based on very specialized roles, performing exactly 1 task for their entire life.  Programmers are supposed to write software for their entire life, without regard to the application.

If technology is allowing 1 person to do the work that required 3, years ago, shouldn't jobs become less specialized?  Business leaders are all saying no & continuing to just hire specialists.  Programmers are just supposed to program, because the amount of skill required to be competitive requires committing your full attention to just 1 thing. 

The maker revolution seems to depend on the opposite, because you don't have the budget to hire a full time, lifetime specialist in Ruby on Rails.  Money is made by generalists who fabricate, program, & solder, while the specialized work of perfecting the tools is unpaid.

Exactly which model will be required to survive is unknown.  A modern government can impose any model it wants, through flexible currency & credit.  We only know that business leaders using the traditional model continue to dominate the economy & the economy hasn't produced more than it has consumed in many years. 

Who knew there were once people who spent their entire lives lighting gas street lights. 



There were once people who spent their entire lives manually adding transaction amounts in books, before computer spreadsheets.


19th century ledger

Hard to believe the reason today's jobs seem ridiculously specialized isn't because the same type of evolution has continued.

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  • Moderator

    Well done Jack, I hope you get the recognition you deserve for this work. Can't wait for the STEM iPad app to come out. When you mentioned target audiences I assumed you were talking about the chick about to lodge an arrow in your head.

  • Great work! Happy to see talented people can realize the brilliant idea to live!

    Really impressed! 

  • I have to agree, it is mesmerizing watching this fly.  Very interesting.

  • Interesting article regarding ethics of DARPA funding Maker Faire entitled Hacking at the Crossroads: US Military Funding Hackerspace

    Hacking at the crossroad: US military funding of hackerspaces » The Journal of Peer Production
  • Jack if any body deserves a pat on the back it is you .You are just ahead of your time like a modern day Galeao,Eyenstine, or Neuton. You talk of things it will be years before most of us will understand.It was neat to watch Marcy fly! and stable for one wing . Marcy was rotating faster than I thought it might I noticed when it was blown out of position it returned on it's own . Wrist watches and typewriters are falling prey to cell phones and computers , Have a Good Day! - understand Resources and Information. is your first and best source for all of the information you’re looking for. From general topics to more of what you would expect to fi…
  • 3D Robotics

    If you're cross-posting to RCG, could you give us the link, so we can see the comments there?

  • I hear elements of John Galt's speach in here...

    It seems Edison built to sell a product and not for the pleasure of discovery or the intrinsic value of knowledge itself. Edison put those lamp lighters out of their job... but then employed them to change the lamps he sold.

  • Im no developer but I think the open-source for profit concept is relatively new, I thought traditionally OS developers did the work primarily for fun which is why they all have other jobs.

  • Developer

    It's mesmerizing watching this fly - congratulations on the amazing stability!

    Cheers, Tridge

  • Jack, please continue blogging here and don't move (permanently, exclusively) to RCG. Your posts are much more interesting and refreshing to read than recent flame wars on certain open-source autopilot release cycles.

    Being a huge fan of open-source (OS) software for quite a while, I initially assumed that the same applies to OS hardware. However, I only recently realized that this is not the case. For example initially I assumed that people that use OS hardware (and maybe even develop some themselves) would certainly prefer OS software to do so, in addition to OS tool chains for programming, down to the operating system. Well, turns out that's not the case. What you say about RC enthusiasts just trying to get the job done with whatever is at their disposal certainly is the case IMHO.

    <quote>no-one who copied my source code to advance their job ever offered a pat on the back</quote> Now that I find sad if it is really true, and honestly also a little hard to believe. Certainly goes against what one would call "open-source community spirit".

    Cheers, Andre

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