Open Source Tractors

I think my mind’s pretty much overheated today – albeit in a good way. It’s been an awesome day of working with a range of talented folks from across a range of disciplines – and in particular so many different designers – exploring ideas for ‘creative currencies’ as part of this Chiasma. And it’s been an absolute delight to watch so many people start to appreciate the power of blockchain technology.

Of course, it’s precisely because of the fact that Bitcoin brings an environment of permissionless innovation that’s proved to be so crucial. By introducing technology that pulls down those constraints that have previously excluded so many enquiring minds from searching for a better solution, suddenly the potential for improvement becomes indisputable.

So I thought I’d share a short piece from another sector that indicates the disadvantages of closing systems – and how this can ultimately harm the customer that you’re trying to delight. This article is a fascinating explanation of the fact that farmers are no longer able to fix their own tractors. The key point here is really that farmers are increasingly driving around massively expenses pieces of machinery in the form of tractors which are controlled by, in this case, John Deere who restrict the owner’s ability to carry out repairs without their permission.

A strong business model (at least for one side) I’m sure you would agree. However, the far more interesting side to this now is that there is a movement by farmers to develop open source tractors.

Check out Marcin Jakubowski’s talk on the Global Village Construction Set.