Dear True Fans: Full Product Release

Dear True Fans,

Thank you all for supporting us in our initial stages of open source economic development – as we move forward with the Full Product Release for The Liberator, the open source CEB press. We are now over 2 years into the CEB development, where we produced Prototype 1 at the end of 2007.

We have achieved a 16 bricks per minute production rate with The Liberator, which exceeded our expectations significantly. We have completed compressive strength testing, and are shipping the machine out the door to Maureen today after a final flurry of documentation. We have a high power machine on our hands, and it’s a great opportunity to promote our strategy – bootstrap-financing further research and development.

It appears that we are on a threshold where we can now take our budgets from the current $1500/month level into the five digit realm – which would allow us to scale our progress. We have much more on the drawing board than we are able to build.

Now we are in a phase where we can earn value to cover costs of building infrastructure for our open source product development work. If we have significant sales of The Liberator, we will be in a position to use the earnings to outsource fabrication and some design work, where we provide the basic specifications and other professionals can do the rest.

The good news is that the entire Global Village Construction Set costs on the order of $1M for its completion – and we mean a powerful set of tools that can literally ‘save the world.’ There are about 40 tools. We spent about $40k over the last 2 years, and now have a Full Product Release, along with several first prototypes (LifeTrac, PowerCube, MicroTrac, others). Our budget for The Liberator development was about $10k in materials for 3 prototypes. It would take $400k to finish all 40 projects at this rate if we did the work ourselves. If we got help and paid others, it would take about 5 times this amount.

If we continue along the same rate as now, we can say each Full Product Release takes 2 years. This would mean that I would have to live to be over 110 years old to see project completion.

We believe that we can scale significantly if we do initial design work in-house, and then outsource the remaining due diligence and prototyping. We believe that our rate of Full Product Release can go at about 4-10 times faster if we could outsource about 4 projects at a time, on a budget of about $20k per month. This would imply completion of the GVCS within 5 years.

We’d like to see gradual increase in our productivity – and the GVCS is a well bounded problem. It’s only a million or so to get the thing done. Sales of The Liberator can fuel this, and they are a solid beginning. We have reached economic significance with our work.

With this, we ask all of you True Fans and supporters for advice on The Liberator price structure. Here are the facts.

We want to fuel the project development scaling as above. Each fully-automatic Liberator with soil vibrator costs $3k in materials, and at present, 100-150 hours of labor to get out the door. We think we can optimize this to 50 hours in due course.

What should we charge for the machine? The closest competition, as far as we know, is $70k for a machine with a similar throughput (Powell and Sons, New Mexico), and the next ones we know of after that are over $100k (AECT, Texas). We want to offer significant price reduction, and motivate this as work that is ‘good for the world.’ We’re using 100% of our earnings to bootstrap further product development. Our only ‘disadvantage’ over the competition is that we don’t provide the engine unit with the machine. From the standpoint of the GVCS, that is an advantage – as we can use a multipurpose engine unit (PowerCube) for powering all types of devices while reducing overall operation and maintenance costs.

It is reasonable to give discounts to allied efforts, and to True Fans.

So please send your comments and suggestions on the price structure. When we come to agreement, we’re ready to take orders, and fund the revolution.

Please respond by email, or preferably on the blog, so that others can view the reasoning.

We are interested in positioning ourselves as true developers of post-scarcity economic systems – and we are offering what we believe is the world’s first, true open source business model. By that, we mean a business model where not only the product is open source in its design, but also that the economic model (fabrication procedure, bill of materials, sourcing, fabrication ergonomics, workflow analysis, economic analysis, tooling, etc) are disclosed as well – and we are willing to train our ‘competitors’! This is geared at fostering post-scarcity economics by reinventing the free market – by promoting free enterprise to a large number of distributed producers. We stand fully behind this goal, as we believe that only by sharing (economics) can the world ever hope to rise to a higher level of existence by removing resource scarcity from being a dominant driver of human interaction.

We could go on at length regarding the creation of post scarcity economics, so for now, let’s settle the price structure – for Factor e Farm producing machines to bootstrap further developments.

Thanks for all (75 True Fans at present) of your support,

Factor e Team.


  1. Dr. Mark Draper

    I believe in what you are doing. You’re probably a little farther out than I am in many ways; I’m a pretty old and conventional kind of guy. I am a patriot. I believe in American exceptionalism.

    So some of your rhetoric jostles me a bit. But I believe we need to build a new world and that we can make it emerge from the rusting ruins of the previous era, without violence, without bloodshed. As I see it, our democratic institutions have been subverted by the plutocrats. And few times in history have we seen the powerful and privileged eager to let go of their advantages. The key is to not confront them. The furry little creatures scurrying about the feet of the dinosaurs did not win the future by conquering those mighty beasts, but only by focusing on getting ever better at what they were good at.

    My mission is to create a Main Street Miracle in St. Anthony, Idaho, a small town with many idle hands and a good deal of underutilized resources. I am trying to organize a community workshop that I hope will morph into a Fab Lab at the heart of a network of home and garage mini-factories. I hope to incubate a dozen small businesses and launch a local currency within the next year and a half.

    I have great hopes for universal capitalism, a truly free market, an economy owned and operated by those who create and consume its goods and services. I certainly wish you well in all you are doing and hope to find ways to strike step with you and help one another make this world a better place.

  2. stu

    Well done! my commment relates to the product release, not the Liberator pricing structure. I think that you should, if at all possible, provide a powercube with the Liberator. This would have two benifits. Firstly it would raise your product to a more eaqual footing with the competition, not having a motor puts you at the far side of the convenience gap and specialses your product for those who can work out how to power it themselves. Secondly I reckon you will benifit from existing customers already having a power cube when your other products are released. It will give subsequent releases the advantage that they don’t need to be shipped with a motor and take the cost down.
    Keep it up!

    1. Marcin

      I agree with you completely, and we aim to release the PowerCube/LifeTrac as our next products.

  3. Reto

    Why don’t you let the buyer make the price? Give him a minimum which cover the costs and tell him exactly what you are going to do with everything he gives on top of that. He may or may not support this …

    IMHO a price should reflect material costs plus an amount for the living of the ones making the product. Plus additional charges for whatever the manufacturer aims to (R&D, pre-investment in the next production cycle, profit, …).

    Just be transparent and motivate to give a surcharge by telling what you are going to do with it.