The signal: A few weeks ago, as the world was starting to take COVID-19 seriously, we wrote about DIY medical devices. At the time, it would have been difficult to predict where we are now — a place where millions of people are making their own masks, while open-source ventilator projects are surfacing everywhere (Exhibit ABC… the list goes on).

Biotech is top of mind for many people. Last week, ARCH Venture Partners raised $1.46B, while firms like ElevateBio, RemeGen, and Affinia Therapeutics also raised massive rounds. Their success is a reminder that not everything — even in the medical field — requires billions in funding.

In fact, there’s been evidence for over a decade that crowd-sourced, DIY-esque solutions can be even more effective. A 2007 study, for example, showed that one-third of scientific problems that were unsolvable by internal teams were overcome through the collective research of large groups of independent scientists, similar to the open-source model.

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