Two years ago I published a whitepaper
describing an open-source technology called FarmBot and a vision for an Open Food Future
. Since then I've been building two global communities to help me carry out this vision: the free-form FarmBot Project
and the non-profit OpenFarm
As the vision has developed, it has become important to make clear the differences between the entities. Sure, I'm the guy behind both The FarmBot Project and OpenFarm, but the two products, teams, legal entities, and finance books are very different and separate. OpenFarm is a non-profit and a database for how to grow food. The FarmBot Project is a free-form global community working to develop a common technology and sharing resources like the FarmBot Forum
However, while free knowledge for building things is important, sometimes it is not enough to get mass adoption of a new idea. Sometimes business
can be a powerful agent of change that can make something more accessible. We see this a lot with the RepRap
project and the hundreds if not thousands of 3D printer businesses that thrive around consumerizing and improving upon a core of open-source technology.
This is where today's announcement comes in. Up to this point, we (me, Rick, and Tim) have been operating under The FarmBot Project as just everyday people working on FarmBot technology. This has worked out great for the last two years, though we've had larger ambitions to commercialize
for some time now. Now we want to start a for-profit business producing and selling FarmBot hardware kits and software services. In doing this, we want to make clear the differences between our for-profit ventures and the free-form community behind the technology as a whole.
So today I'm excited to announce a third entity to the mix: FarmBot.io
, our for-profit company that we're forming to design and sell FarmBot hardware kits and software services. Though this is a private company, we hope to run it using open company practices
and we're committed to continuing to contribute our development back to the open source core of The FarmBot Project and community. We'll also continue to maintain and steward The FarmBot Project's community resources.
To make it all easy to remember and distinguish, we have two domain names that you should keep in mind:
farmbot.cc is the community site for The FarmBot Project as a whole. This is where anyone can get involved and share ideas.
farmbot.io is our business site where we design, sell, document, and provide support for our hardware kits and software services
We're also starting new social media profiles for farmbot.io. Below is a breakdown of all the profiles:
We hope this is clear now, and that it will only become more clear as time goes on. We think that as the project community grows, and as more for-profit businesses start popping up (which we encourage!
) then the distinction will be more obvious.
Cheers to a prosperous future of FarmBot community and business!