The apertus° project has successfully transformed itself from a community-only project to a company-community project. Of course we still are a community but with more responsibility and clearer role definitions. Yet, public perception apparently changed as people primarily perceive us to be a camera manufacturing company when we approach them. Furthermore, the Open Hardware Summit in Philadelphia drew our attention to something rather unexpected: several people handed back our flyer because they didn't understand that we are a DIY open hardware and free software project due to our flyer looking too slick and sophisticated. Apparently the maker scene still identifies itself by working on small hobby projects, illustrated by colorful hand-drawn pamphlets. However, we are still very much a community project and even if we are working on a professional product that comes with a more glossy appearance, our community is still the heart and soul of the project
Analogue to that, it was the digital community of apertus°, that won the Prix Ars Electronica in 2012. Since Ars Electronica has been awarding and analyzing global digital communities for ten years now, they created a publication about the observed changes and trends over the years, in which apertus° has a prominent role and which also includes an interview with Sebastian Pichelhofer from 2015. Take a look.