Bill Buxton won the Best Services business model contest at Santa Clara University for an open textbook idea.
I am proud to be part of the Open Educational Resources (OER) movement.Â The philosophy behind the movement is that intellectual creations should be widely shared with credit to the creators. The open licensing of these creations is made possible by intellectual property rights, not a threat to those rights.
The difficulty with OER is the business model. So far the international community has not succeeded in creating sustainable production and cash flows similar to those achieved by the open source software movement.
I propose Viable Intellectual Resources (VIR) as a new term and a new business model.
Viable: because the model must produce and maintain high quality materials (and because the word ‘sustainable’ has been claimed by the environmentalists).
Intellectual: to tie the term and the business model back to intellectual property and because ‘educational’ is too narrow and ‘digital’ is too broad.
The heart and soul of VIR are creation communities.Â These organisms are made up of the creators of high quality intellectual materials: authors, photographers, illustrators, editors, copy editors, technologists, project managers, designers, and others.
The basis for the business model is very-high-volume, very-low-price as in The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid by University of Michigan Professor C.K. Prahalad.
Viable Intellectual Resources are community-sourced by named experts, not crowd-sourced by anonymous amateurs.
The pilot for VIR is an open Project Management textbook; 38 project managers have joined that creation community.
I will be writing much more about VIR in the future.