Thursday, March 30, 2017

Right to Repair

One of the interesting dynamics of the service economy lies in the dialectic opposition between open and proprietary. I have mentioned some useful conceptual models in previous posts: Amin and Cohendet have proposed a model that classifies capabilities/services according to the dimensions of knowledge intensity and trust; meanwhile, Max Boisot's iSpace model traces the dynamics of knowledge from proprietary to open.

In my post on the New Economics of Manufacturing (Nov 2015), I described some of the economic forces behind the shift away from manufacturing products (including spare parts) and towards services.

Instead of trying to sell you overpriced tyres, the car manufacturer must make sure that only its accredited partners have the software to balance the wheels properly. In other words, not just architecting the product or even the process, but architecting the whole ecosystem.

But consumers (and regulators) are fighting back. Car owners in the USA have already won the right to repair, and now the farmers of Nebraska are now fighting a similar battle against the tractor manufacturers. True openness would force the manufacturers to publish the repair manuals as well as the interfaces, and allow independent repair shops and knowledgeable consumers to repair their own equipment without relying upon some dodgy download or counterfeit component.

This matches the Boisot model of stuff flowing from the proprietary world into the open world. I'm sure there will be more examples of this to come ...




Richard Chirgwin, European MPs push for right to repair rules (The Register, 6 Jul 2017)

Jason Koebler, Five States Are Considering Bills to Legalize the 'Right to Repair' Electronics (Motherboard 23 Jan 2017)

Jason Koebler, Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware (Motherboard, 21 March 2017)

Gabe Nelson, Automakers agree to 'right to repair' deal (Automotive News, 25 January 2014)

Olivia Solon, A right to repair: why Nebraska farmers are taking on John Deere and Apple (Guardian, 6 March 2017)


Related posts

Knowledge and Culture (April 2006)
Tesco outsources core eCommerce (March 2009)
Ecosystem SOA (October 2009)
The New Economics of Manufacturing (November 2015)


Link added 18 July 2017





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