This past October I had the honor of speaking at the Open Hardware Summit put on by OSHWA and hosted here in Portland, OR. Way back in 2012 I traveled to New York for the Open Hardware Summit, and I was astounded by the passion and engagement present within almost all of the active open source communities. The event sparked my interest and passion for the open source model and 3D printing — leading directly to the F-F-Fiddle and OpenFab PDX.
So, needless to say, I was thrilled to speak at the Summit! I used my talk as an opportunity to clarify and communicate my real purpose for publishing the F-F-Fiddle as open source. When I released the files to the world, I set out to build an open source community around the project and support others in participating in that community by making, improving, and re-designing the F-F-Fiddle.
Open source communities thrive when they are provided optimal conditions for intrinsic motivation: autonomy, mastery, and purpose.
This triad — autonomy, mastery, and purpose — is a concept from Daniel Pink, which he describes in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. For any collaborative project, the community and its managers establish and influence the norms, infrastructure, and feedback mechanisms of the project and the community, whether intentionally or not.
For true success, the norms, feedback mechanisms, and infrastructure of any project must be designed and implemented such that they maximize the individual autonomy, opportunities for mastery, and sense of purpose for all community members.
In my talk I share what the F-F-Fiddle taught me about defining and implementing norms, feedback mechanisms, and infrastructure that maximize open source community engagement and contributions. Bonus: I play a song on a 3D printed violin in the Crystal Ballroom! Epic! You can watch my talk, below. Once you do that, click over to this page to watch all Summit speakers.