The article here, at http://antipastohw.blogspot.com/2009/02/zen-and-art-of-open-source-...
, discusses the economics of open hardware and ends up proposing the creation of an open source hardware bank.
It ends with an interesting set of questions, which I think our community is well equipped to answer, here they are:
* Where does the money come from?
* What is the best way to coordinate and centralize money?
* How can the money be best structured so that the community reaps the benefit?
* Can money be sourced from a distributed group of individuals or institutions, or does it have to come from one party?
* Does money always need to generate interest through profit?
* Are there other ways to sustain money in a community?
* Who is incented to contribute money, and why?
* What are good and bad reasons to contribute money to Open Source Hardware?
* Does money always have to be structured in a corporate form?
* Should Open Source Hardware have companies that make profit, or are there other ways?
* What are examples of successful production economies that didn’t involve profit-seeking corporations? Can they provide lessons or motivation for Open Source Hardware?