Core Team - Old

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What is this about?

Open Source Ecology project is now recruiting people for the "Core Team", that will both spearhead and guide development of products shown in Overview.

The rest of this page explains what would be involved in joining the Core Team. If you have additional questions, or are interested in participating, please contact Marcin Jakubowski

Core Team Duties

The Core Team is the organizational heart of OSE's product development. The Core Team leads the development of each of the 7 product areas shown in the Overview. The Core Team is responsible for producing the due diligence and engineering- specifications, designs, fabrication procedure, bill of materials, peer reviews - to make prospective supporters sufficiently confident to support the products in development.

Core team members should have technical expertise, but it is not necessary. We are interested more in people who can solve problems. The nature of our appropriate technology (AT) development is such that the material, by nature of AT - is simple, user friendly, and intuitive. It may be said that the utter simplicity is the hallmark of a great product. Therefore, only the most fundamental knowledge, at the level of high school physics and mathematics, is necessary for the core team. Part of being on the Core Team means that the member learns the additional knowledge necessary for high-level development.

Voluntary Participation and Stakeholder Values

Core Team participation is strictly voluntary. However, we aim to build a core team with an inherently high interest, or stakeholdership, in the success of the products being developed. This means that Core Team members:

  1. Are interested in building a given product from open source documentation
  2. Are interested in purchasing a given product according to the price structure discussed below
  3. Are interested in producing the product that is being developed
  4. Have higher ethical, transformative, and other reasons for being attracted to product development

We are looking for Core Team members who understand the entirely voluntary nature of this economic development process. First attention is given to openness and replicability, based on a fundamental transformative potential. We are proposing an explicit approach and path to transform the current economic paradigm, from a race to the bottom to the economics of abundance. We believe firmly that material provision of needs - energy, food, housing, etc. - can operate within an economy of abundance. We are focusing on linking visionary economic development with an explicit program based on economically-significant products.

Specific Duties

The specific path of our product development is cycles and steps within these cycles. The typical cycles and steps are shown in this diagram:

Steps and Cycles.jpg

The cycles follow a standard type of product development: prototypes, optimization, and fabrication. The additional twists that we provide are:

  1. We are funding the product development and fabrication facility entirely with voluntary donations from stakeholders
  2. We are inherently interested in replicating our enterprise concepts by serving as a business incubator with apprenticeship training.

The particular steps for each cycle are described further at Main Page#OSE Product Cycle, and the actual web interface that we are designing is at Ecotechnology_Buying_Club. Note that we can propose only a general outline of the steps, as development processes will rarely fall into such neat order. This is where the problem-solving ability of the Core Team must enter to provide appropriate guidance to the project.

Core Team Number and Duration

The number of people on the core team should be small - perhaps up to 25 or so people - for purposes of easy collaboration. This number may increase as the project grows. If you are reading this, we are probably trying to recruit you to serve on the Core Team. We are interested in using a Wikipedia-like model - where we gather a core team of distillers who add value to information from a large number of sources. The main difference between our model and Wikipedia is that Wikipedia gets unsolicited, voluntary contributions of content. We will solicit those contributions of information in our product development effort, since our contributions are of a far more directed (though not necessarily more technical, as Wikipedia has some very technical content) nature. This is not to say that there will not be unsolicited input, but that the goal-oriented, specific nature of development requires content solicitation.

The Core Team should be small, but funding contributors should be many. The Core Team should be sufficient only to recruit the fundraising team to point potential stakeholders to our development efforts.

We foresee that the Core Team will also be dynamic. Voluntary participants may leave or enter at any time under the agreement being described here.

Scope of Product Development

The OSE product development effort is unique in that it does not stop with the development of a good product. We continue for the sake of replicability, such that the products developed can enjoy a wider audience. We continue our product development process to the design and building of a production facility, such that people who support our effort can later have access to products at reasonable cost. Not only this, but also, one of our inherent goals is optimization of the product and its production process. To introduce the possibility of even wider markets, we are also designing a training and apprenticeship program. We aim to train other entrepreneurs in the production of products, and as such, our work constitutes a business incubator. Because we aim to train others, we are introducing the possibility of production levels similar to mass production methods, except with the participation of a large number of producers. We call this open franchising - giving away the business concept free of charge, and training people to become producers. Because we are focusing on optimization for cost reduction, we believe that we can compete with the mainstream market, without any ecological or geopolitical compromises.

Price Structure of Developed Products

At the same time, we pay attention to the bottom line. Because the product development process and fabrication facility is microfunded collaboratively, our capitalization costs are zero. Therefore, we can focus on maximum service to the consumer. With this in mind, our products will be sold at cost: at the cost of materials plus labor. How can we survive doing this? We are still capturing the high value of skilled labor, at $50-100 per hour. This is a reasonable figure. To begin with, general labor is $50 at a typical machine shop or garage. Since we are aiming for advanced, digital fabrication techniques, our productivity is extremely high, and the $50-100 is worth it. To give an example, our CEB Press costs $1350 in materials and we predict 20 hours of labor for optimized fabrication. If we charged $50-100/hour in labor, that would make the product price $2350-$3350 - which is about a factor of 8-10 lower than the competition (see discussion at CEB Press. This shows that there is plenty of room for the producer to capture value, while the customer comes out ahead as well. This scenario is possible once optimal fabrication procedures are developed, a goal which we take as a premise for our work.

Additional notes


If you agree to the above terms and are interested in becoming part of the Core Team, please email joseph.dolittle at for an application. The information collected in the application is intended to facilitate core team interaction.