Building a Team

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Last Updated April 19, 2012.

OSE Development Abstract

The mission of OSE is to develop the open source economy - an economy that dramatically increases the rate of innovation by Collaborative Production and Distributive Enterprise - while promoting environmental regeneration and social justice. The Global Village Construction Set TED Talk has proposed the initial concept. This concept is evolving to a scalable, mainstreamable, open source product development platform - which relies on unleashed collaboration - freed from monopolistic practices, trade secrets, or intellectual property restrictions.

Our approach is the creation of an open source learning organization - a tactical combination of non-profit and for-profit organizational ecology. To reach the scalable, open product development platform, we are developing the Extreme Manufacturing agile development methodology. We are applying this agile methodology to the development of the Global Village Construction Set as a test case intended to pave the way for a generalized open economic development platform. Cost reduction, lifetime design, and radical hypermodularity, are some of our keys to maximizing platform scalability towards (1), an OSE Campus - or 24 staff and 200 students on site at near-zero external cost (autonomous operation) - and (2), large-scale replication - an OSE Campus built for every 100,000 population in the developed world by 2019.

Our goal for the collaborative product development platform is to raise $5M by year-end 2012 via the nonprofit sector and to build up to a team of 24 full time developers (entrepreneurs, organizers, fabricators, engineers, disruptors) towards developing the GVCS by year-end 2013. Based on the GVCS as an economic base, we aim to develop the OSE Microfactory by year-end 2014 to demonstrate $80k earnings per month in a 4000 square foot fabrication facility with 4 people - with the first OSE Campus built by year-end 2015, and 12 students trained by year-end 2016, 100 by year-end 2017, 1000 by year-end 2018, and 10,000 by year-end 2019. We expect a full open economic option (collaborative development for any goods and services) to be unleashed by 2018.

One emergent pressing need is a scalable strategy for motivating and retaining development talent while maintaining low budgets. We propose herein a self-funding human resources strategy to eliminate dependence on external funding for keeping a well-staffed organization.

To extend our open product development method towards a rapid, agile, parallel, scalable development platform requires an improved human resources strategy. Rapid refers to a beta product release time scale of 3 months with 3 monthly prototyping cycles - while maintaining high quality control and producing complete documentation. Scalable means extendable up to 24 parallel projects). It is the goal of this write-up to define the recruiting strategy by communicating the enterprise and values model.

Our mission is to create the open soruce

Problem Statement and Solution

Typical human resource budgets for nonprofit organizations are typically over 50% of their budget (such as ~70% for salaries and independent contractors at at Benetech, p.6.). In order to facilitate internet-scale phenomenon scaling of our organization - one possible avenue is creating a self-funding, modular organization. We are taking on a unique approach to achieve this via a self-funding human resource strategy in the nonprofit sector. As an open source project with growing social capital (access to TED network, Shuttleworth Foundation, and other support networks), we are well-positioned to leverage widespread volunteer support while stretching available funding for high impact.

OSE Campus Operational Model

The OSE Campus is a mix between a non-profit education institution and a for-profit enterprise.

The OSE Campus is intended to be a Distributive Enterprise training facility (Open Source University) that combines a lifestyle of lifelong leaning and work. It includes entrepreneurship training, education, production, product dog-fooding, and open source start-up incubation in one.

The OSE Campus is essentially an open source, learning and enterprise community. The organizational ecology involves a university-like campus, where in addition to entrepreneurship training, the participants engage in the use and testing of the products and services that are developed. Since the products are related to the creation of living and working infrastructures of communities based on local resources - the OSE Campus is effectively an autonomous, high-tech village. The OSE Campus operational model involves a community that produces a modern standard of living from local resources. This notion is typically socially unacceptable - but this critique may no longer be relevant if it can be shown that such a task takes 2 hours per day to achieve by the community. The social model involves a village designed to disrupt the economic paradigm of artificial scarcity, towards one based on pursuit of higher purpose.

The unique funding model includes:

  • Strong emphasis on unleashing human abilities, life-long learning, and breaking the habit of being oneself.
  • OSE Microfactory and related productive operations - robust production is the backbone of economic prosperity and sustainability, operated in the for-profit sector
  • Students pay tuition, with financial assistance available from Kiva microloans.
  • Immersion education program - 1 year beginner's course, 2nd year advanced course.
  • Students have an option to repay their tuition via apprenticeships where they generate value from production runs under the guidance of production mentors.
  • Faculty and staff participate for 10 hours per week in productive activity to bootstrap fund their own salaries at $50k/household/year.
  • Local production allows for zero overhead costs for the built environment, utilities, and other critical infrastructure
  • A farm manager produces all the necessary food with assistance from apprentices or volunteers
  • Intensive week-long, augmented reality short courses provide another revenue stream for the community - where state-of-art production techniques are converted into Real Startups
  • Publication sales add funding to nonprofit branch
  • 50% of profits from OSE Microfactory and other productive enterprises goes back into open source product research and development, development and growth of the community, and capitalization assistance to OSE Campus replications.
  • No employees, only entrepreneurs, partners, and volunteers.
  • Deep culture of responsibility as a means to addressing pressing world issues.
  • Full autonomy is present in community as complete import substitution occurs for all essential items, but is optional for luxuries. That is - food, energy, and fuel are produced on site.

Funding and Mission-Driven Economic Sustainability Model

We are raising funds to develop the 50 GVCS technologies via the nonprofit sector. This involves a $5M budget based on the Global Village Construction Set Budget Rationale

The GVCS technology that is developed by year-end 2013 is the backbone for the OSE Microfactory (2014), which is in turn the backbone of the for-profit operations that fund the OSE Campus (2015).

The Microfactory funds:

  • Entrepreneurship trainees - students can fund their tuition by apprenticing in production runs and learning to lead production runs - where products are sold via our social networks to bootstrap-fund the education
  • Staff - staff participates in productive activity to bootstrap fund their own salaries at $100/hour of productive output.
  • Enterprise replication - start-up capital for students from additional time spent in production
  • 51% of profits go to fund development of the open source product development method, and to further research and development
  • Ethical Investors are invited for up to 49% share of the OSE Microfactory, provided that the investors actually run the operations as organizers or producers

Since human resource budgets are a main cost of an organization - we are addressing this by having the entire staff and executive team fund themselves by engaging in productive activity.

We have demonstrated that we can earn $5k/week for an estimated 50 hours of production of the OSE CEB Press, which costs $4k in materials, which we then sell for $9k as producers (and which competitors sell for $45k for a machine of comparable performance. This is an initial data point for the general economic robustness of the GVCS platform. Combined with our social capital for marketing, we predict significant economic returns from production runs.

This choice of funding staff is mission driven. We believe in an economy of responsibility, where people are reconnected to meaningful physical/intellectual work - as a basis for pursuit of higher purpose. This further addresses the economic sustainability of the organization - while contributing to the stability of the global economy. This is also transformative in the sense that self-funding allows for unleashed replication potential.

Scaling Strategy

Progress to Date

We have already demonstrated measurable success in recruitment. This includes 600+ True Fans and growing, 3 full time OSE developers (Marcin, Aaron, Yoonseo), 3 current DPVs (Jose, Brianna, Andrew), several Replications around the US including 2 enterprise startups, collaboration with Team Wikispeeed and with Creation Flame, and over 100 active wiki contributors, and approaching a million hits for the Global Village Construction Set TED Talk.


Our impact is intended to be that 10,000 OSE Campuses will be developed worldwide by 2019. Each contains a million dollar net economy based on the productivity of the OSE Microfactory, for a total of $10B of revenue produced per year by end of 2018.

The impact of each OSE Campus is significant:

  • Thorough transformation of economic sectors in a surrounding community
  • $1M of economic production of GVCS machines and many times more than this from enterprise start-up (local agriculture, construction, energy production, etc) in surrounding communities as a result of access to GVCS machines

Long-Term Financial Sustainability of the OSE Campus Open Franchise

The goals until 2013 are nonprofit-sector funded.

The 2014 goal of developing the OSE Microfactory allows the program to capture a $1M baseline budget to bootstrap fund the operation's human resources - 20 participants at $50k/year.

We will require a 1% donation from the net profits of each new OSE Campus created to continue funding the open product development platform. This would combine to a $100M/year budget for ongoing product development by 2018.

Each OSE Campus would likewise produce significant research and development as entrepreneurial projects focusing on distributive enterprise.

Organizational Scaling


Each OSE Campus is a modular, stand-alone unit - and it is connected to OSE is via its brand identity. The self-funded staff model supports the main operating cost.

Physical Infrastructure

The campus itself is an autonomous facility built by capitalization assistance from entrepreneurship training - students participating in production runs.

Organizational Infrastructure

The OSE Campus is a modular unit. Developing one unit involves recruiting a full team - and primarily product directors and product managers. This is our current challenge.

Replication Strategy

The replication strategy is built into the OSE Campus concept. The students are the entrepreneurial starters - where the student contract involves setting up an OSE Campus elsewhere, and contributing 1% of their profits to the OSE Open Franchise. Knock-offs are encouraged.


Main metric is the dollar value of machines sold, and dollar value of enterprise net incomes.


  • 2012 - test case of Extreme Manufacturing applied to 1 product
  • 2013 - GVCS 50 tools complete
  • 2014 - OSE Microfactory earning projections verified
  • 2015 - first OSE Campus built
  • 2019 - 10,000 OSE Campuses deployed around the world

Project Evaluation & Review

Project evaluation is based on:

  • How many GVCS prototypes have been built? 12
  • How many beta releases have occurred? 4
  • How many independent replications of GVCS machines have occurred? 3
  • What is the development time for a Beta Release? 4 years (3 months is the goal)
  • What is the development time for general adoption (100 independent startups producing a given machine) NA
  • What is the global sales volume of GVCS machines sold?
  • How many OSE Microfactories have been replicated?
  • How many OSE Campuses are built?

Building a Team

Based on our Core Values, we are building a diverse team. The team consists of:

  • Nonprofit organization and its Board of Directors
  • On-site team at the Factor e Farm facility - as it evolves to an OSE Campus
  • Large global collaboration team of developers, replicators, and other supporters

Core Values and Mission

Key Values:

  • Open Source - all of our IP is dedicated to the Public Domain for the benefit of everybody. There are no licensing fees for any of our information, though people are free to contract with us for our services. We pay dearly for information and give it away for free - the digital Robin Hoods of the open source economy. All of our blueprints for products and enterprises are published freely to accelerate innovation. We like Open Content, Open Data, Open Educational Resources, Open Source Technology, Open Source Software, and Open Everything. We publish early and often to foster collaboration and unprecedented development velocity.
  • Distributive Enterprise - We publish all enterprise models 21st centurythat we generate freely, help Distributive Enterprise start-ups with training and capitalization assistance, and generally believe that others making money from our open content is a great idea. We are not afraid to share. The only enterprise propositions endorsed officially by OSE are Distributive Enterprises, and this point is non-negotiable. We do not promote closed-source solutions of any kind, and we publish our enterprise models early and often.
  • OSE as a Learning Community - The transition to the next economy requires that we learn new skills and become more capable and powerful than ever before in history - via rapid learning, augmented reality assist, and lifelong learning - towards becoming Integrated Humans.
  • Radical Transparency - as a lean organization, we intend to publish results, progress, financials, and all supporting data to promote easy accounting and responsibility.
  • Responsibility - we promote responsibility for the world around us, the key route to this being productivity - as a means to creating autonomous communities more free from global geopolitical conflict than at any time in human history.
  • Regenerative Development - we are interested in leaving human and natural systems in a better condition than we found them
  • Social Justice - we are concerned deeply about solving pressing world issues
  • Evolving to Freedom - One is not born free, but must evolve to it. Freedom is a state of mind brought about by responsibility. our platform is intended to promote freedom, not curtail it.

Board of Directors for OSE Nonprofit Operations

The OSE Board of Directors is intended to provide leadership in open source culture and distributive enterprise. The alignment is value-based - the open source ethic dominates - as opposed to access to capital and glory. Access to money being secondary, as the open source economy is not for sale. We require a primary interest of service to humanity, not ego.

Organizational Development

The current Team at Factor e Farm is [Marcin]] and Jose Bravo (fabricator), and will soon include Andrew Bateman, Yoonseo Kang, and Brianna Kufa. Aaron Makaruk is our resource developer.

The organizational tree for scaling is shown: (mm document)

Our existing organizational infrastructure priority is a Product Director to manage technical development.

Factor e Team - Learning Community

We are accepting people for Dedicated Project Visits (DPV) and other roles. As a learning organization, we are providing crash courses for new people. Each DPV will be guided by one of our staff in fabrication, technical documentation, agriculture, construction, or organizational duties. We are currently developing online training and exam materials. We expect all candidates to study our materials for a preliminary exam during a final interview. Recruiting typically involves an initial application with video (self-made and published to marcin_ose YouTube), an initial screening interview discussing the work plan (recorded), and a final interview including a subject matter test and discussion of outstanding issues. This is followed by the signing of a participation contract. When on-site - Saturdays are reserved for cross training (pairing) or group work as determined by the Factor e Farm Director. Our production manager will also host production runs or other productive endeavors where participants have a chance to bootstrap fund their stay - as determined on an ongoing basis. Our crash courses for on-site participants and cross traininsg run every Saturday from Noon to 6 PM.

  • Fabrication Track - in welding, torching, drilling, basic precision machining (lathe and microlathe operations).
  • Technical Documentation Track - basic course in video editing, soundtrack addition, Google Draw, FreeMind, Sketchup, QCAD, FreeCAD, STL embedding, CAD repository creation,, modeling, image manipulation, and GIMP, Skype conference call recording on Linux, 3D scanning, Bill of Materials creation; Exploded Part Diagrams; 3D diagramming; mechanical drafting; basic CAE analysis; video repository creation; wiki culture and editing; data visualization; documentation management; documentation repository creation.
  • Construction Track - using and building with the CEB press; Tractor operation; Sawmill operation; foundations; materials sourcing; wiring and electrical; plumbing; shallow well digging; roof water catchment system; hybrid straw-CEB construction; table saw operation and other power tools; concrete mixing. Construction will involve week-long construction runs of OSE Microhouses - or 350 square foot, 2 person studios with kitchenette and bath.
  • Agriculture Track - gardening (summer and late/early season); field crop produciton; hay baling; land surveying and ground-truthing; mowing; pond digging; raising chickens; orchard maintenance; mulching; microtractor operation; chicken incubation; chainsaw operation (upon demonstrated competency)
  • Community Relations - Flash Mob organization (review, design, CAD, calculations, video editing); community OSE Hackathons (CAD, design, video editing, prototyping), advisory board recruiting; blogging; group conference calls; social media management (twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, facebook); interviewing; main discussion Forum moderation (management thereof)
  • Organizational Track - XM Platform usage; vlogging; resource development; in kind donation solicitation; job posting; business plan writing; strategic development

Incentives and Value Sharing

The long-term incentive for OSE is ethical - in that the project is dedicated to those who hurt at the state of the human condition and are committed completely to addressing such issues. It is this mindset that allows the most successful partners on this voyage to maintain morale and keep a 5 year vision. The goal here is 2014 as the major milestone of OSE Microfactory concept proofing, followed by the first full, self-funded OSE Campus by 2015 - and scaling to 10,000 such entities by year-end 2019. This is equivalent to radical transformation.

As founder, I am committed to the above goals. My experience has shown me that the above is not only feasible - but also - that the creation of the open source economy is inevitable. I welcome with open heart anyone who wants to help me accelerate the inevitable - on a mission where ethical reward trumps financial gain - even though the platform is expected to reach $100M self-funding levels by 2019.

I believe that the bootstrapping aspect - which was critical in taking OSE to its present state - is also critical to project completion - in the form of the self-funding OSE Campus - where participants grow into truly responsible denizens who turn what they touch into gold.

As such, I propose that we keep to our roots by requesting that volunteers only fill our ranks, and those who do not enter as volunteers have a way to bootstrap-fund themselves while on site. This addresses organizational sustainability in the most profound way.

The good part is that a rigorous business plan may be attached to the above. This is my collaborative invitation to anyone who cares to join.

We will train you. Then you will produce. You will then be able to feed the organization, as the organization feeds you.

Team Retention

The simple solution falls out of our identity as a rapid learning organization. As people learn to be more powerful than ever before, they become capable of creating wealth directly - by physical production. This is the model for our growth. OSE invests in teaching its people, and the sustainability of the organization is addressed. This leads to high morale, and people can grow with the organization.

Personal Invitation - Lifestyle Investors

If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.- Lilla Watson

My experience has shown that there is approximately 3 people per million who appreciate OSE work to the point that they are willing to volunteer their whole life towards making it succeed.

We need a team of about 30 such people (10 organizational workers, 10 hands-on producers, and 10 managers) to achieve high development velocity (finishing the GVCS by Year-end 2013) and outstanding results. The peak of our organization will require about 100 full time people.

This does not mean that we live in misery of poverty. It means that there are more important things that motivate us.

The standard model is paying people wages. Alienation for compensation occurs when people do a job that they would not do for free. There are material survival issues when we disucss volunteer work - so there needs to be at least sufficient reward in a job to cover those expenses.

However, people don't need money - they need the things that money can buy. So our approach is to produce all the things that we use money to buy. Yes, even cell phones and semiconductors. With unleashed knowledge flows - this is indeed trivial. Our route to this is creating a community of sufficient size to provide a modern standard of living from local resources - with 2 hours of work per day. We estimate that the minimum such size is 200 people. That is the OSE Campus concept.

That does not mean that we loaf around all day - but that this model community tends to work on addressing pressing world issues, one by one. That is the nature of the OSE Campus. The key to that is replicating OSE Campus entities - to gain the economic basis of such transformation. The OSE Campus is a network effect - every addition of resources into the open economy benefits everybody who is already a part of that movement.

I believe that in order to create the world that we want to live in - we must be the change that we want to make. Our idea is to live it - and to get to the point of funding our own expansion by productivity.

So is it really that there is about 3 people per million who are excited enough to drop in to our work regardless of any obstacles? I am not sure if that is the number of early adopter developers - but it may be. Here I am passing this on to all my networks to find out. TED Fellows. P2P Foundation. FOOCamp. Shuttleworth Foundation. Facebook, Twitter, and others. It is such that I invite you to be a part of the core crew.