Tech Startup Builds A Fully Functional Computer Called "Chip" For Just $9.

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Next Thing Co. is a software and hardware company located in Oakland, California. It was started by three self-described "hardware people" who also happened to be friends. They are Dave Rauchwerk, Gustavo Huber and Thomas Deckert, and they now employ six additional team members who recently helped make the prototype of a $9.00 computer, called Chip, a reality. The prototype is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter.

When building new software or hardware, a company must determine if it wants to open source its code, or design of its product(s). Once the decision to go with an open-source license is made, the following criteria must be met: the program or design must be freely distributed, the source code must be part of that distribution, anyone is allowed to work with and modify the source code and modified versions can be redistributed. The software license cannot be exclusively used with other software or interfere with the operation of other software.

Although this seems difficult, since a company would be "giving away" its ideas, it also creates an environment where the company can find new ideas, discover new contributors and find partnerships with larger corporations that would help seed the business. Open sourcing is not a new concept, but it is still very intriguing to those not in the development field.