Why create OSlantis?

Open Source projects usually aren’t funded. Contributors create amazing tools for the world and they are not paid for sharing their inventions. Passion and self­ development are often rewarding enough, but with Oslantis we want to create a platform that can also fund those who are creating this Open Source world. We want to pay people for the work involved in sharing their knowledge and taking risks for all of us.

Here is how it works:

  1. Share a challenge or a vision that doesn’t already exist, which you would like to see in the world
  2. Create milestones within this vision toward reaching the big solution
  3. Determine how much money you think would be a good prize for a community working on this project. It should be generous… inventing the “impossible” and giving it away in Open Source should be well rewarded
  4. Determine criteria to evaluate how the challenge has been met
  5. Determine who will evaluate the challenge (panel of experts, peers, etc…)

It’s a pity that so many works in the Open Source realm go unpaid while doing so much good. We don’t believe in patents that restrict the ability to enter, fix and upgrade software or devices. An Open Source solution is designed to be made publicly available so that anyone can study, modify, distribute, make, and sell the design. Patents are created to protect inventions, but this no longer makes sense in an increasingly innovative world, and prevents people from learning, becoming autonomous, and fixing their environments. We put rewards in place that are generous enough, so that people who are willing to share their inventions can make a living from it and continue creating the tools for our common prosperity.

The main inspiration to run this project popped into my head after combining canned foods, Phonebloks, and unicycles.

Right, that makes no sense… Let me explain:

First, canned foods: Napoleon Bonaparte faced many challenges while trying to dominate Europe, one of which was feeding his massive army ­ especially while going through areas that had been stripped of food. Even when food could be found, it would often spoil before it could be brought to the troops. So Napoleon offered a contest, with a prize of 12,000 francs, to the person who could come up with the most innovative method of storing food.

Nicolas François Appert won the contest. In 1809, he submitted a method of boiling and sealing food in glass bottles. The technique caught on quickly, and soon tin cans were substituted for glass 50 years later Louis Pasteur discovered that heating kills microbes.

Second, Phonebloks: Dave Hakkens presented his modular phone concept in a huge campaign on the “crowdspeaking” platform Thunderclap, which went extremely viral. He didn’t ask for money because he didn’t know what to do with it. But he believed the idea should be put out into the world, to see if it interested people . It surpassed his wildest dreams and generated huge interest among the general public as well as corporations. Phonebloks isn’t a product yet, it’s just a design vision. But the community values the idea so much that thousands of people are committing to this project. Even if they don’t yet know how to reach their goal, they are still working on it, and I bet that the results of this research will bring amazing solutions.

Third, unicycles: Back in 2010 I discovered Bamboo bikes and read a lot about their incredible properties and excellent handling. Being a unicyclist myself for many years, I dreamt of riding a bamboo unicycle ­light, sustainable, and ecological. Yet I had no clue where to start. I contacted a couple of brands and shared my idea, but got no reply. I had nothing but a lot of goodwill to offer. I realize now that it would have been easier to draw interest with the support of the unicyclist community. And thanks to this interest, an inventor could have created the solution for a bamboo unicycle.

So here we are, finding out that Napoleon discovered the power of Crowdsourcing, and that the power of the community can make possible the brilliant ideas of Dave Hakkens. All of this made me realize that we can all create our “bamboo unicycles”.

The idea is to invite and challenge people to solve “impossible” problems. Unthinkable or physically impossible tasks have already been solved in the past, thanks to crowd­sourcing. Why not push it a bit further? We have never had so many inventors in history, and tools to help us invent have never been so affordable and easy to handle.

Oslantis allows people to share ideas, and invites capable people to make those ideas real and create a better world in Open Source for everyone to prosper.

What will you create?

Picture sources: Discovery, Wikipedia, Quantum Day

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