Open source and shaving supplies

I was reminded of a post I wrote last september, on the subject of walled gardens…

If you embrace traditional wetshaving, you are using what is – for all intents and purposes – an open source system of grooming: all the relevant patents and so forth is fallen into the public domain, which means anyone is free to start making razors and the blades for them. The only thing you need to achieve success in the marketplace is a good product at a good price… which means a lot of small scale artisans and manufacturers has to be in it for the sake of the customers, since the return on investment will be low.

P&G and the other big multinationals wants us to use their proprietary hardware (and software), which gives them control of the supply and therefore the cost – to the benefit of their bottom line (as should be expected, since they are in business to make money). New cartridges and other gizmos will be introduced regularly, to keep the buyers in the walled garden… by hook or by crook.

Or in other words, people who start a business to create products for the traditional crowd – and I’m thinking the hardware side of things – can often be compared to the people who write open source software. They want to create (and sell) a great product that people with special interests will use.

On the other hand the people who runs a business aimed at the ‘modern’ shaver – and again I’m thinking about the hardware – can be compared to such entities as Microsoft, Apple, and SAP AG… they are in it to make money – and there is nothing wrong about that.

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