It was bound to happen. Long relegated to the software world, it was just a matter of time before open source stormed the kitchen to dominate our cuisine. In a sign of the times, Tcho's Chocolate.com is using "open-source" techniques to make chocolate taste better:
Tcho is also working with cocoa growers, in conjunction with two research groups it has equipped with satellite-Internet connections, to help them improve the quality and consistency of their beans. Tcho hopes that the most effective techniques will then spread in an "open source" fashion to other growers.
Why? Because Chocolate.com is focused on distribution of superior chocolate, and getting quality raw materials is imperative to that mission. Even if, say, Nestle has the same cocoa beans, Chocolate.com is banking on its process for turning cocoa beans into a finished product: Its own binary of the cocoa bean source code.
The only thing that would make it better is a free download. I'd sign up for that.
By the way, I wonder what the founders of Chocolate.com paid for their website. Choco-late.com went for $300,000 and is being hoarded to sell for even more. Chocolate.com may have to sell a lot of chocolate just to pay off its name.