I was recently pointed to a startup called Lastwear, who has gotten their seed funding via Kickstarter.com (also a new acquaintance to me). With an eye to the topic of this blog and namesake book I wrote some years ago, this is some great news in so many ways.
My motivation to write the Open Life book was not only to write about open source software, but also about the open source mindset applied to other fields (or even personal relationships). It contains many real life examples of such non-software enterprises, like Wikipedia or Magnatune. But I also suggested some more ideas for which there was not yet a real life embodiment. One of these was open clothing.
It seems Lastwear is about exactly that: They will publish all of their designs and artwork under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. I can only wish them the best of luck! ...wait, that's not true: If their clothing will look like the stuff on the picture, I will certainly be a customer!
But it gets better: I also wrote a chapter about a fictitious extremely open company that would publish all its accounting, meetings and discussions in public - as much as possible at least. While I've fully expected that someone doing open clothing was just a matter of time, I have to admit I never expected someone actually trying this out:
Since we started, we've always licensed our creative materials under a Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike license, but now, we will be making all our accounting, sales, production costs, and other business information available on our web site.
The Kickstarter site itself is also a new acquaintance to me. When working on the book I explored different donation and voluntary payment systems both in software and book writing. As a general rule they all looked rather poor back then. Recently I read about Jill Sobule who had came up with creative ways to live as a professional musician which seems more promising. So maybe things are changing for the better.
Kickstarter however seems to be a raging success, and I just feel so happy when I browse through the list of projects that have actually got funded through this online community. This seems to be a very valuable site through which many deserving projects are getting a chance to show what they go for.