Air Collective Forum

Why work in the open?

No single breathing device is going to solve the shortages around the world. Different places have different parts available, different medical staffing levels, different regulatory responses, and different rates of virus spread.

This means that smaller teams (who can work much faster) can work independently and be very effective.

We’re making it easy for you, so you win back time

If you’d like to work in the open, all you need to do is write a sentence or two on what you’re doing, upload whatever files you have to show your work, and write a few of your challenges and questions.

Just head over the projects category and start a topic and post it all there. Or email Sal and he’ll set it all up for you. Boom!

Then everyone else can learn your progress and help you with your challenges. And the DIY team can proactively find you answers and resources that really move the needle for you.

What we’re doing is new, but how we’re doing it is not

The race against time means accepting that we must pick a direction, start, and adapt as we go. Many of us will end up down dead ends, but that’s not a waste if work was done in the open. We’ve seen some great examples of this:


“Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.”

This is called Linus’ Law, because it’s what makes Linux development succeed. The Linux Kernal handles hundreds of updates per day, with a complexity of 15 million lines of code and is still regarded the most secure, reliable operating system.

In fact, it’s the most secure, reliable operating system because so many people work on it at once. The more people independently work on a design, the faster the critical mistakes are revealed and solved… as long as everyone is working in the open, trying stuff, and sharing frequently.

Toyota hybrids

Toyota was years ahead at getting hybrid cars to market because their teams don’t work on cars, they work on modules.

It’s called Set-Based Concurrent Engineering, and it boils down to the idea that you can break a device into interchangeable modules. Then different teams try different variations, some basic, some advanced, some simple, some sophisticated. If the teams work openly and work in ranges rather than fixed specs, the final result can be assembled from all the various module options much faster than a big-plan-up-front.

Partial wins move everyone forward faster

Even if you went down a dead end, or your device won’t be accepted by hospitals, you may have figured out something useful for another design, like say a pumping mechanism or a mask hack, that solves another project’s problem and gets incorporated in their work. You’ve just moved their design forward!

When you work in the open, you help others, and you help others help you

Just keep us updated by replying to your topic. Post as frequently as you like! Any little wins? Share them for others. Any problems creeping up? Share them for others to help.

When it’s on the forum, we can proactively work to get the right people to you.

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