The beekeeping model
4Bees is an open platform for innovative beekeepers and developers to develop products that improve the quality of life for bees and beekeepers.
The philosophy of 4Bees can best be described using the "beekeeper model":
4Bees sees itself as an open platform for the development of "open source" projects. The platform works through the exchange of two types of groups: an open developer community and the product consumers. Consumers want a finished product and support, and are willing to pay for it. The money earned is used by 4Bees to pay full-time employees to create an appropriate infrastructure and to initiate and drive product development. These are then made freely accessible to the open developer community. The developer community, in turn, helps to improve the design, functionality and quality of the products. The improved products, in turn, become more attractive to more consumers and bring 4Bees more money, which can then be invested in new projects. This should result in a cycle from which everyone involved can benefit.
- The developer community can use the "open source" projects directly for their own purposes. Thanks to the professional work of 4Bees, better products can be made available than would be possible through pure "open source" development. The developer community thus benefits directly from 4Bees.
- Consumers get better products with better design, more functionality and better quality at a lower price. Consumers thus benefit from the developer community and 4Bees, who develop and produce better products at a lower price.
- 4Bees benefits from increasing growth and increased appreciation as a result of the functioning cycle.
The analogy to the beekeeper
The beekeeper creates an environment for his bees that is attractive to them: accommodation and a location that provides the bees with enough food. The bees do what they naturally do best: they collect honey, pollen and propolis and build honeycomb from beeswax. The beekeeper sells the honey and other bee products to consumers and uses the money to increase beekeeping.
But the analogy goes even further:
- The bees can fly and have the option to leave their home if they wish. The beekeeper must therefore take good care of his bees. The beekeeper has little control over the bees. He cannot demand anything from the bees that he would like. It is the same with an open developer community. They too can leave a project or what would be even worse, develop a similar project on their own. That's why it's important to 4Bees to make its developer community happy. 4Bees cannot rely on the developer community to abide by any plan or directives. Bees can sting. The members of the developer community can publicly criticize a project.
- The growth of a bee farm depends on how much honey and wax the bee farmer can sell to its consumers. How much he can sell depends on how well he can sell and how much honey and wax he has. How much honey and wax he has depends mainly on the number of bees he has. How many bees he has depends on how much honey he leaves for the bees or how well he feeds them. In order to achieve maximum growth, the beekeeper must simultaneously increase his customer base and the bee population. So it is also necessary for 4Bees to always create a balanced relationship between consumers and the developer community.
- The bees come first. The beekeeper must first invest time and money in his bees before he can sell anything to his consumers. The longer he can invest in his beekeeping without selling anything, the faster his beekeeping will grow. The same is true between 4Bees and its developer community. First, the developer community needs to grow to create better products. Only then can they be placed on the market.
- Each bee colony has a queen. In order for a bee colony to be able to survive a long winter, the queen needs enough bees. The same applies to "open source" projects. Most "open source" projects have a single founder and administrator. But only if he manages to win enough active developers, the project will develop lively and quickly.
- Consumers of honey and other bee products do not want to deal with the bees. However, a single bee or a colony of bees cannot meet the needs of a consumer. The work of the beekeeper is necessary, who takes the honey from the bee colony, centrifuges it, fills it into honey jars and then sells it to his customers on the market. Likewise, a consumer does not want to deal with "open source" projects, but wants to buy the finished product.
- Bees can't do anything with the money that beekeepers get for their honey. A banknote or coin is worthless to bees. However, the beekeeper can buy forage, hives and anti-varroa mite treatment for the bees. The situation is similar with 4Bees. Because the developer community has no direct benefit if 4Bees sells many products. The developers also benefit indirectly when 4Bees invests the money in expanding the platform and developing the products.
- Each individual bee can only make a small contribution to its bee colony. But the large number of bees in a hive is able to do a lot. Similarly, the contribution of a single developer can be small, but with many developers the overall contribution is very large.