May 28 Update

We are in growing pains indeed. We have now recruited a Farm Manager, Production Director, Executive Assistant, such that our population at Factor e Farm will grow to 17 people by July.

We are beginning Microtrac Prototype II by Graham and Bulldozer modification of the LifeTrac by Alex. Yoonseo is here (Thiel Fellow), Brianna is here finishing the Ironworker and installing 3-phase power for the milling machine, Jose here to build the CNC Torch Table after Chris DeAngelis here comes up with 3D + fab drawings for the torch table.

Things are definitely moving forward, we’re moving into HabLab, and we will add storage to our existing low-flow well for a supply of at least 1500 gallons per day. We’ve identified a subject matter expert to help us with the Open Source Well Drilling Rig, as water will be a key resource shortage until we master the well-drilling and get our ponds built. Floyd is installing a rooftop catchment of 5000 gallons.

There is a major midcourse correction. 50 GVCS technologies by 2012 Year-End? This won’t happen, short of a major unexpected development nonlinearity. The recruiting process takes time, we are working on enterprise scaling, and we have shifted in a major way to maximize bootstrap-replicability of our operations. This means taking our Beta Product Releases to Full Product Releases – by demonstrating a $20k/month Distributive Enterprise model for production by this year’s end.

So if you want to replicate and bootstrap fund your operation, we will show you an example of what it takes, and we will document it exhaustively. We are planning on starting full steam on this on July 1 – so if you can contribute to fabrication, enterprise development, documentation, engineering, or other assets to this development, email us at opensourceecology at gmail to volunteer in exchange for real enterprise development experience. We will offer 40 hours of fab/cad training, and on-the-job learning as part of an exciting development process – for those on the fabrication track. We are aiming to bring along not only the CEB Press – but also CNC Circuit Mill for the associated electronics including production of open source CEB controllers + stepper motor controllers for the Torch Table, plus Ironworker Machine, precision cold cut saw for Circuit Mill fabrication, and inverter (both 1 and 3 phase) for off grid shop power for off-grid communities. As soon as we get our power situation stabilized for our existing industry standard mills, we will get Terry to teach us machining of Gary Hadden’s modern steam engine for pelletized-biomass fueled shop power.

I think that the way the project will evolve is grow to 30 full time people on site by end of next year – for a reliable, core team of developers – who are not only developers but lifestyle investors in creating the social fabric for the world’s first responsible, modern, open source village.

You can read more initial thoughts on these topics under Deep Value Proposition, 2 Year Strategic Plan, and OSE Campus bootstrap funding model (where all staff participates hands-on in production). Also check out the Development Platform under development – called Flashy now because we plan on Flash Mobs being an important part of our methods – and Streamlined Recruiting Plan. You will see that these writings need translation from the language of vision to the language of operations, so if you are skilled on this task, contact me. I’m off to the Shuttleforth Fellows Gathering in Berlin for one week. Mark Shutleworth is the visionary who wants open source software to take over the world – and he is funding early stage social entrepreneurs in open source economic development. That is a fun crowd for me to be with, where everyone ‘gets it.’

On loose ends, the Kickstarter rewards still need to be shipped and final edit needs to be made on the Civilization Starter Kit. Aaron needs to tie up loose ends on nonprofit incorporation so we can harvest low-hanging funding fruit for enterprise scaling. I am hoping to be selected as an Ashoka and PopTech Fellow, which offer further extensive networks for enterprise scaling. I just got accepted to the SupporTED Collaboratorium, so the Ted Network with Renee and Ruth Ann of SupporTED are fully behind the project. Aaron and I got invited to meet the Board of Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation, who also appears ready to stand behind our work. Much more is happening behind the scenes leading to a powerful social enterprise. We are working on data points of economic performance.


  1. david

    Thanks for this one, I really appreciate the honesty /wrt the speed of progress. I actually never believed in any of those overstated by-year-end goals.

    Another thing that tends to annoy me is the sort of “buzzword compliance” aka “epic disrupting rapid parallel extreme lean scrum development/manufacturing […]”, that is/was quite virulent in Marcin’s writings. IMHO one of the great advantages of anything open source is the “down-to-the facts” part, as opposed to deceiving marketing jargon within the proprietary world. The open source method is superior in the long run anyway.

    While I acknowledge that fast progress in open source hardware is desirable, given the state of the planet, it will probably not speed up due to marketing jargon—things just need to get done. OTOH I’ve never been into nonprofit fundraising—which might require some buzzwords to succeed.

    Enough criticism, plz don’t get me wrong, there is a reason I’m closely following OSE activities since about two years. This is the most promising project I’ve ever heard of, makes me more optimistic towards mankind’s future. Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to hopefully take part in some European factor-E-farm clone, just need to get some things done here until I’m in the situation to take off.

    Best wishes to the whole team!!

  2. neodynos

    Really really like you folks, and kudos for all the progress!

    Read the note about well drilling development and just wanted to share links to valuable info on DIY well drilling that I came across lately:

    Several freely available books and manuals on well drilling and pumps, by the Rural Water Supply Network, available for download here

    Rural Water Supply Network: Handpump Technologies“, a great overview of technology, also including complete public domain documentation for 10-15 manual pumps for wells