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Open Business Model: Basics

An OpenBusinessModel is:

An OpenBusinessModel tends to create some degree of an OpenValueNetwork? of exchanges among the users and producers. Knowledge and information exchanges are curated and grown in a KnowledgeCommons?. ValueExchanges? are transparent when possible. IntellectualProperty? is by default not hoarded, nor made scarce, but released under a license that allows for different types of re-use. The goal is to generate “positive externalities” {{See Wikipedia Externalities page}}

The OpenBusinessModel is an acknowledgement that money is not the only exchange that takes place in business. It’s employment is also a recognition in practice that money, value, compensation and control need not flow in a one-way direction from user (“customer”) to producer.

OpenBusinessModels? give people foundations for becoming SelfSufficient?, by employing BuildingBlocksForIndependents?. These are tools, concepts, ideas that are open, and commons-based.

The OpenBusinessModel can be for-profit or not-for-profit. It can be [[Cooperative?]] -or Corporation-Based. The legal organization is not as important as the opening of all channels of communication, the affordance of [[authorship?]], and the sharing and of information and know-how in a KnowledgeCommons?.


See Also:


Hey Sam,

I was reading through which is exciting to me because of the mention of hardware (physical sources) and was also reminded of your work here. Please excuse me if this is off subject. --PatrickAnderson?

BTW: I think the To save this page you must answer this question: form should be right before the `Save’ button.

Thank you Patrick! This is not off the subject. It is exactly right on.

In fact, I have come across so many different ideas along these lines in the past few months, that I think it could be worth not only linking to them here, but summarizing, and comparing them.

At he is talking about OpenService?, which is very similar to what I am detailing in this page above.

The criteria for beign “open” is really interesting, I think, and useful:

HardWareAccess? is really one of the emerging OpenBusiness? problems. One of the angles I am exploring is with CommunityWikiResourcePool? type of system. This is Commons based pooling of resources like this. P2P is a logical next step for software. But for fabrication of physical objects, I am thinking more along the lines of SandBenders?. For physical objects, one BaseMachine?+KnowledgeCommons?+OpenSource? software+WasteEqualsFood? will be the key to access. One machine that can make all of the machines that you need. And/or pooling resources to get HardWareAccess?.

I am also interested in, and how these licenses are an evolution of the RevenueSharingModel? idea.

Let me see if I can figure out how to change position of q-asker…

Here are some more OpenService? links.

I’m confused why ownership of the physical sources (space, mass and energy) required to host any service tends to be overlooked as insignificant when considering why the users don’t have the control they seek. Or is ownership understood to be the deciding factor but unexplored because it is viewed as being insurmountable?

I wrote a bit about this at and have been trying to refine and clarify these ideas at if that approach interests you.

 -- PatrickAnderson

Patrick, well, ownership, IMO, can be considered to be a fundamental issue. But, at the same time, it is not always the issue, in defining an OpenBusinessModel. it depends on the “business”.

However, I can agree that ownership many times will be a huge factor. Some of the “models” i am pusruing are based on “pooled” resources. So, if we each currently “own” a bit fo the RivalGoods? we need to create a venture, we can CoDonate? or share them as much as possible.

I guess I never actually tried to minimize or downplay ownership intentionally, but you are right that it is not explored so much on this page, or in this wiki. At least not to the degree that you have been exploring it. I am interested in the concept and there is definitely aplace for it here, so please do not hesitate to create pages, or even add to this page, should you see a place where MutuallyOwnedBusiness? might fit in.

I think that pooling resources comes close to what you are talking about. But I think you are actuallytalking about a social pattern and ethos that goes one step beyond, and maybe you can expand on it some more?


Thanks for your careful response, but I don’t see why or when ownership of physical sources would not be important. You may have some examples in mind, but if we pick them apart, I think we will find the need of physical sources for that production, NO MATTER THE BUSINESS.

The first part of my claim (please push against this) is that NO INDUSTRY is possible of ANY variety without PhysicalSources?, and the ownership of those PhysicalSources? is most efficient and democratic when they are continuously distributed to every consumer by treating any amount a consumer pays above cost as UserInvestment?.

Here are some examples with a small sampling of the possible space, mass and energy needed to host them:

Softwarekeyboard, mouseHard Drive, CD/DVDMonitor, speakers
Audiomicrophonewax cylinderphonogram
Textpaper, paintpaper, paintpaper, paint
GeneticsDNA moleculesseeds, spores, eggsfungus, plants, animals

This table is a bit rough and very incomplete. It appears to me that Space, Mass and Energy are always needed, so (for instance) all of these operations also require some land. The amount is so small that we tend to disregard it, but think of the huge rooms Google uses to host the thousands of computers and energy (electricity) needed to deliver the search results and video. It is not 0 cost.

There is much more I am tempted to write, but tend to overwhelm when I try to present it all at once.


Patrick, I have to tell you that I have absolutely no argument against what you are asserting above.

If I ask myself why I had not addressed the factors you are stating above, it is probably because there is not (yet) an apparent way for me to immediately apply it in the areas of business that I am exploring.

But, this type of dynamic is one of the core goals that I personally have had in mind for “business” of the “open” type. I have thought, with PeerInvest?, and other ideas, that it would be awesome to have the users become controllers and owners of the company (and also let users have a hand in the creation of the business itself, to have “P2P” funding, etc)

So, I am on the road now. But, as soon as I have some time, I’ll factor UserOwnership? into this wiki, and into this page as a core guiding principle. Other principles are working towards this, and I think a lot of the people who are working on “Open” ideas would agree that UserOwnership? would be an awesome dynamic. You are definitely on the right track, Patrick, I think.

Another thing I am thinking is: How might we explore, maybe over the next year or so, executing a PilotProject? that will help TestingTheoryThroughAction?, and try out UserOwnership? ideas on smaller scales, to help prove that they work? This is one of the goals I have had in intiating this OpenBusinessModelsWikiHive? project. I want to help people launch and test ideas, to help them become more solidified. I will be trying to make it to quite a few different OpenSpace? conferences and ‘camps over the next year, and I think that quite a few people will be interested in the ideas you are putting forth here. So, please consider this a space that is open to what you are discussing, for sure. And thanks for taking the time to lay down your perspective.


Another investigation, this one by Luis Villa

Define external redirect: PhysicalSources SandBenders MµsTagObmWiki TestingTheoryThroughAction UserInvestment ValueExchanges ShareRevenue FriendsObmWikiHive OpenSpace OpenSource KnowledgeCommons PeerInvest CommunityWikiResourcePool BlogsWithObmWiki DistributiveProduction DevolvePower CoDonate OpenService WasteEqualsFood HardWareAccess GroupsObmWiki IntellectualProperty SelfSufficient MutuallyOwnedBusiness OpenValueNetwork PilotProject RivalGoods SamRose OpenBusinessModels OpenBusinessModelsWikiHive UserOwnership Cooperative authorship OpenBusiness BuildingBlocksForIndependents RevenueSharingModel ModèleBusinessOuvert PatrickAnderson BaseMachine

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