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Jun 19, 2013, 08:45 PM
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3D Printing Company MakerBot Acquired In $604 Million Deal



So Bre Pettis finally sold Makerbot Industries for 1/2 billion dollars. It definitely puts your monthly ABS budget & the concerns of whether to splurge on the 2 color extruder in perspective when you realize the founder walked away with at least 1/4 billion dollars.


Don't remember as much wealth being concentrated among so few people before 1999. Then this phenomenon of massive IPOs appeared, based purely on speculation with no revenue. Now, it's massive acquisitions based purely on speculation, using pure debt. Stratasys only made $20 million in 2011. Makerbot starved their market, causing them to start losing money. Nowadays, any amount of money can be borrowed with no collateral, so Stratasys can borrow 1/2 billion.


Once again, it's not the revenue from Makerbot sales or speculation on the value of being able to print goods, but the enormous library of widgets users of the Makerbot submitted to thingiverse.com for free, over 100,000 in total, & which Bre was able to monetize with the acquisition. Like the instagram & tumblr acquisitions, a massive amount of data was created for free while the true value of it was monetized by just a few individuals. Is that the way open source hardware is supposed to work?


The answer we're supposed to give is yes, the world should be based on legions of people producing data for free & the true value of that data being concentrated into 1 top individual in these massive buyouts. The creators of the data should not be compensated because we all want to be the top guy.


We've had these massive payouts for data since the internet got big in 1999 & the amount of data that cost nothing to download became truly massive. Initially they were in the form of the Redhat, VA Research IPOs, later in the form of the modern social network giga acquisitions, maybe now the open hardware giga acquisitions.


The concept of data that we create in full faith that it's supposedly free having a massive amount of monetary value in the invisible hand of the economy isn't going away. Neither is a landlord going to turn around & open source his rental properties just because we provided the data that paid for his assets for free. It's well known that wealth is being concentrated at the top a lot more than it ever was & times are much harder for the rest of us than our parents.


But what if the creators of the data were compensated in the buyout instead of the total amount being focused at the top guy? Would the creators of the data not be able to hire people on their own, create jobs, buy stuff on their own?


I'm aware of 1 entrepreneur who definitely seems to be posturing for a corporate acquisition of maybe a billion. There are many others in that business, but he marketed it wisely & shot exactly down the middle of what prospective buyers want to see. Then, there were 2 coworkers who became partners in a business that had no obvious product besides a lot of blog posts & were definitely shooting for a buyout.


Unlike the massive donations of intellectual property monetized by makerbot, instagram, & tumblr, it's hard to find where 3D Robotics's data empire is. It could be the schematics & software donated by users.


As free as free software, photos, & status posts may seem to you, the acquisitions of makerbot, instagram, & tumblr show the same amount of value exists in your content as if you charged for every photo, but now all the value goes to the 1 guy at the top.
Last edited by Jack Crossfire; Jun 20, 2013 at 05:27 AM.
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Jun 20, 2013, 01:27 PM
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And I thought Bre Pettis was going to keep helping the open source world....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Crossfire

So Bre Pettis finally sold Makerbot Industries for 1/2 billion dollars. It definitely puts your monthly ABS budget & the concerns of whether to splurge on the 2 color extruder in perspective when you realize the founder walked away with at least 1/4 billion dollars.


Don't remember as much wealth being concentrated among so few people before 1999. Then this phenomenon of massive IPOs appeared, based purely on speculation with no revenue. Now, it's massive acquisitions based purely on speculation, using pure debt. Stratasys only made $20 million in 2011. Makerbot starved their market, causing them to start losing money. Nowadays, any amount of money can be borrowed with no collateral, so Stratasys can borrow 1/2 billion.


Once again, it's not the revenue from Makerbot sales or speculation on the value of being able to print goods, but the enormous library of widgets users of the Makerbot submitted to thingiverse.com for free, over 100,000 in total, & which Bre was able to monetize with the acquisition. Like the instagram & tumblr acquisitions, a massive amount of data was created for free while the true value of it was monetized by just a few individuals. Is that the way open source hardware is supposed to work?


The answer we're supposed to give is yes, the world should be based on legions of people producing data for free & the true value of that data being concentrated into 1 top individual in these massive buyouts. The creators of the data should not be compensated because we all want to be the top guy.


We've had these massive payouts for data since the internet got big in 1999 & the amount of data that cost nothing to download became truly massive. Initially they were in the form of the Redhat, VA Research IPOs, later in the form of the modern social network giga acquisitions, maybe now the open hardware giga acquisitions.


The concept of data that we create in full faith that it's supposedly free having a massive amount of monetary value in the invisible hand of the economy isn't going away. Neither is a landlord going to turn around & open source his rental properties just because we provided the data that paid for his assets for free. It's well known that wealth is being concentrated at the top a lot more than it ever was & times are much harder for the rest of us than our parents.


But what if the creators of the data were compensated in the buyout instead of the total amount being focused at the top guy? Would the creators of the data not be able to hire people on their own, create jobs, buy stuff on their own?


I'm aware of 1 entrepreneur who definitely seems to be posturing for a corporate acquisition of maybe a billion. There are many others in that business, but he marketed it wisely & shot exactly down the middle of what prospective buyers want to see. Then, there were 2 coworkers who became partners in a business that had no obvious product besides a lot of blog posts & were definitely shooting for a buyout.


Unlike the massive donations of intellectual property monetized by makerbot, instagram, & tumblr, it's hard to find where 3D Robotics's data empire is. It could be the schematics & software donated by users.


As free as free software, photos, & status posts may seem to you, the acquisitions of makerbot, instagram, & tumblr show the same amount of value exists in your content as if you charged for every photo, but now all the value goes to the 1 guy at the top.
I am really disappointed that Bre would do something like this. Many people put their thoughts and ideas out there to be shared and used by other individuals. Not to be monetized by the man at the top. But we must remember that we all agreed to the terms of service and he can do that with out any consequences.... he already has the money.
Maybe it was the thought of having all that money or maybe it he was thinking larger and hoping for the 3d printing world to expand to wal-mart sized popularity we probably will not find out.... Companies do this all the time but the future of open source 3d meant a lot to me. I hope he had good intentions and not just the thought of money and power.


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