7 Ways Open Source Boosts Our Boombox

7 Ways Open Source Boosts Our Boombox

Why did we decide to publish the design of our high-quality DIY boombox kit as an open source hardware project?

In short, we are prioritizing community over monopoly. The aim is to inspire and involve the crowd in distributed manufacturing, and build an ecosystem and platform for the collective love of music through making boomboxes.

Here’s how making our design freely available advances seven core meaningful outcomes for you and MAKEBOOMBOXES:

1. Strength of the Crowd

Conventional wisdom says to advantage your intellectual property (IP) through patents, but there’s a compelling argument for the safety of the public domain. By sharing our boombox design openly, we protect it in plain sight, in the sunlight. Making it ubiquitous makes it a less appealing IP theft target. And now that our design is out there, it establishes prior art, preventing anyone (including us) from claiming and patenting the design as their own. That's how freely sharing is a strong defense against piracy.

2. Shared Opportunity

By definition, the IP laws limit creativity and collaboration. They might protect creators (those with the resources to litigate), but in so doing, others are blocked from from exploring and expanding on the initial idea. The gains of exclusivity for some is a loss of ‘folk process’ for the many to participate in technology advance. By open sourcing our boombox design, we invite startups, inventors and makers to modify, improve, and repurpose our work, and share alike in the overall innovations.

3. Social Concern

Our project benefited immensely from the input and insights of a vibrant community of music lovers and tech enthusiasts. By making our designs open source, we reciprocate the community's trust and contributions, acknowledging that our end product is better because of their involvement. This is our way of giving back, ensuring everyone benefits from the shared knowledge and efforts.

4. Interoperable Standards

It was the sense of connection and sharing inherent in music itself that inspired our DIY boombox over the years. We have tried to reflect in our design process the ensemble character of music. Open sourcing extends this ethos, articulating our product into a common core of acoustical, visual and structural standards that support interoperable variation on the original themes.

5. Creative Catalysis

We designed our boombox kit not just as a static product but as a canvas for personal expression and further invention. Open source hardware accelerates this process, allowing users to adapt and tweak the design befitting their personal preferences and needed functions. This foundation of flexibility can open up a multitude of unique, personalized devices and designs that enrich everyone’s experience.

6. Marketing by Freeing Ideas

We see open sourcing as a fantastic way to do marketing without all that pushy marketingy stuff. In a brand landscape that increasingly values authenticity, personal expression, innovation, and user involvement, fielding this open source product enhances our brand appeal. With it we are incentivizing sharing and initiating cycles of trust between enthusiasts -- a refreshing welcome form of marketing.

7. Good Karma

Lastly, the notion of karma holds true in business as much as in personal life. Sharing our design is a gift that keeps on giving — creating network effects and new opportunities for others while compounding the downstream inventions back into this ecosystem. What we give, we can in turn receive in delightful measures of community goodwill, enhanced brand awareness, or serendipitous inspirations, improvisations and inventions.


Within any industry based upon creativity and connection (music, education, arts, healing, team-building, events, social media, marketing, maker tech, etc.), there are use cases to make DIY boomboxes. Beyond emiting beautiful sound, this open design can help amplify joy in your community when you meet, share, and create together.

By choosing to open source our boombox DIY kit, we’re not just releasing a product; we’re inviting people and enterprises of diverse backgrounds to join us on a journey of collective impact, innovation and shared success.

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