Profiteering: what is Monome's perspective?

  • I am new to Monome. I've done a lot of research about it; I appreciate the philosophical/intellectual/political underpinnings behind the Monome vision.

    What I'm perplexed by is the vulnerability of the vision to predatory profiteering. It seems like a fairly conspicuous problem with this otherwise idealistic, open source vision.

    Someone with a different disposition than mine might even call buying a monome "an investment" like any other. But there's something about a 250% profit says "evil."

    If this is a tired topic, forgive me: I'm new here. I am certain that I'm not the first person to bring this topic up. In fact, it may be a very well-worn discussion. If so, help me out. What is the official stance on this topic? Is it just a "What can you do?" accompanied by a sigh of dismay?

    It seems like the people behind Monome are bright and thoughtful people. But it seems that more thought should be put into how to discourage this kind of thing from happening.

    In other words, monome shouldn't be a gated community.

    Can production be increased without a sacrifice of aesthetics/ideals? It seems like a potentially emotionally charged area that has the potential to ultimately give the monome the veneer of elitism. This seems to run counter to the progressive, environmentally conscious, non-exploitative beliefs espoused by Brian and Kelli.

    Would monome ever make an official statement on the topic, broadcast from the homepage, damning the practice? Or would they prefer not to intervene? I am curious.

    - Chad

  • It's a shame... but it's capitalism...

  • well, as far as i'm concerned, people will always do whatever they see fit. if some asshole buys a monome, for the sole idea of selling it to make a profit, there's nothing anyone can do to stop him. the sad part is, he's taking away a monome from someone who really wants it and probably can't afford it via e-bay.

    my stance is that that sort of "evil" profiting is just bad karma, man. we can't do anything to stop him, but i'm sure we're a lot happier in this community than he is swimming in a sea of money... or poo, whatever tickles his fancy.

  • Yeah, there was some uproar a few months back. And you're totally right, this topic gets people going.

    I can't make an official statement or anything, but I do remember that the weekly silent auction tehn was doing for a while (is that still going?) was put in place partly to combat the profiteering.

    the auction thread was here:

    As for ramping up production... they are only two people. They have been churning out a pretty big supply, all things considered.

  • > or poo, whatever tickles his fancy.

    i hear you can buy a lot of poo for $2000.

  • unfortunately this has been discussed at great length and with great passion here over the last months. it's the only time moderation has had to intervene.

    we do our best to gauge demand and produce accordingly. early last year it was clear that we couldn't keep up with demand, but there wasn't a practical way for us to increase production (our build process is heavily hand-made).

    i believe a combination of the economy and less profitable reselling has diminished the attraction of speculation. we attempted to partially quell speculation with our silent auctions (which is now finished.) stretta described it best here:

    i have no desire to revisit those old threads, but most users here (or the most vocal users?) certainly discourage the practice. for a while there was (and still might be) the expectation that any profiteering trade post here will invite the wrath of many.

    as for our own position-- of course we're against it, because it hurts the community as a whole. it's easy to assume that the solution would be for us to produce enough units to always have overstock-- but that'd put us in a terrible financial position of complete insecurity, or it'd require that we involve investors/etc, in any way it'd drastically alter our current path.

    i leave you with this!

  • tired topic for shure.....(not your fault)
    but forever aggravating....
    i am inclined to say, as i have in the past,
    that the monome community exists....
    the greed and elitism exist as well.....
    but these are separate beings.....
    the elitism is generated by persepective & demand....
    no one here is an elitist....
    everyone has been very open all the time.....
    no one here has been greedy about anything....
    in fact everyone is generous as can be......
    the greed lives on ebay......
    i think that people wanting a monome, and its tight knit community, are 2 non-compatible species.....
    there are plenty of people who rock the monome, who choose not to participate in the community.....(not everyone is into message boarding, or video blogging ect.....)
    just as ripping people off is not participating ......
    monome's pricing, (when bought direct) is extremely fair and honest
    and big ups on dischord homie.....big ups......

    random tidbit.....
    my girl just made deans list in law school.......STING

  • I apologize for dredging up what I can sense is an exasperating, shopworn topic and I appreciate the responses.

    That dude's eBay sale is so ugly and shameless, it's almost breathtaking.

    - c

  • Thread hijack!

    Nice work, Edison's girlfriend! a hunky boyfriend and brains. I'm jealous. :)

  • yeah! same here! congratulations!!!

  • @Tehn -- does your site,, have a RSS feed? It would be nice to follow.

  • > @Tehn -- does your site,, have a RSS feed? It would be nice to follow.