Development Strategy

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Warn icon.png Update as of 1/2011
See GVCS Development Template for the backbone of an updated development process. -Marcin

The Development Strategy is the substance of any physical product and physical production development. It is what we follow for any of the products of the Global Village Construction Set found in the page header. It should contain all the information necessary to build a product, while including economic analysis and replicability. In short, the development work should include concept, process for review, design, 3D drawings, fabrication procedure, experimental design, test data, features of replicability, and so forth. If you are interested in contributing meaningfully to the Global Village Construction Set, then consult the OSE_Specifications as basic guidelines, and start filling in the template fields. You can start new pages, work on existing ones, and organize them in a category for that particular project. You can view the wiki instructions for how to log in and edit pages.

The template is extended, and it should contain all the information necessary for the above. The template should be applied judiciously - for example, 3D Drawings may be irrelevant to the propagation of apple trees.

The template should be exhaustive, and it should be filled in over time, such that meaningful enterprise proposal may arise from it.

The template should provide most of the information for the collaborative development process that we are pursuing for the Global Village Construction Set.

Basic Process

last updated 3.16.09

The basic process of open product development, in terms of the essential research, design, and hardware buildout are shown in this diagram. Note that this is a gross oversimplification of the Development Strategy Template shown below. The latter also includes a collaboration, funding, review, strategic development, physical facility issues. The Development Template should contain all that is necessary for, and explicit instructions for - replication and effective production of the technology of interest. This is about enabling open access to economically-significant production.

This design cycle is still in its infancy, and is a work in progress. As we take our first product to completion through this cycle, we will refine and streamline all the fields required, and organize them in terms of importance. As new software and collaboration platform tools become available, we will incorporate them as well. The test cycle of this process will be applied to the CEB press.

There are people working actively on supporting software for this open development process. The Factor e Dream Team 30 (3 people on site as of 5.16.09) will pursue this process actively on-site, and remote collaborators are encouraged to participate as well via weekly development briefings (teleconference), held at 9 AM on Fridays, starting with Friday, March 20, at 9-10 AM. In this conference (phone number to be announced), we will discuss the research priorities and distribute explicit tasks to conference participants.

Collaboration procedure.jpg

The detailed template and explanations are found below.


Development Strategy Template

A template for the Open Source Technology Development Strategy is shown here, including explanation of each heading. This template, properly adapted, shall be the framework for the process of developing anything needed in support of the goals of Open Source Ecology.

Note that this template needs to be done for products and their components component. For example, the CEB press may have the structure as one Development Template, and it may have the automatic control system as another entire Development Template.

To accommodate products and their subcomponents, each product and subcomponent should go through its own iterated Technology Development Cycle.

Iterated tech dev cycle.jpg

Product Definition

    1. General - What is the product, what needs does it meet, why is it relevant to a village economy, and how is it relevant to making a better world
    2. General Scope - Options, variations in implementation, spinoffs, phases, and evolutions that the product is aimed to include. This section reveals the deployment strategy - in terms of the desirable steps to be taken towards product deployment.
    3. Product Ecology - Relationship to other products in a village, as well as ecological qualities of the product, including environmental, human, and technological aspects.
      1. Localization - how the product may be produced and sourced locally, and what global resource flows it can displace
      2. Scaleability - exploration of how the product may be designed to scale in production or output
      3. Analysis of Scale - Exploration of the appropriate scale for carrying out this enterprise, based on the notion that human orgnization works most effectively up to a certain size, after which organization begins to break down. The effective scale may change depending on the scenario.
      4. Lifecycle Analysis - material flows analysis, 'from crust to dust'

Enterprise Options

Possible enterprises that may be undertaken, as related to the given product, in the sense of neosubsistence - or providing both for the needs of the community and for outside markets. Note that village design favors neosubsistence in order to integrate participants' lifestyles for increased self-sufficiency. Enterprise may involve production of the product itself, fabrication of devices that build the product itself, production of other items using the product, education, training, certification, consulting, further R&D activities, and others

    1. Development Approach
      1. Timeline
      2. Development budget - This is a highly flexible item, since the core development team labor has been donated until project completion, and a research facility is available. Costs incur for materials, outsourcing, and hiring of independent contractors. All costs may be eliminated by collaborative contributions, and resources come in as they are needed in a bootstrapping fashion. In case larger contributions become available for top-down funding, it is useful to do general accounting, and to specify a required budget in terms of those allocations that would propel the project forward significantly. Thus project financial accounting should include:
        1. Value spent - total value of monetary and in-kind contributions utilized specifically by the project, and provided by voluntary contributions; summed in US dollars; voluntary labor is not counted
        2. Value available - resources that are available but have not yet been utilized
        3. Value needed - This is what's needed in labor and materials to complete the project under two scenarios: normal and accelerated. The normal scenario assumes voluntary labor and materials at cost. The accelerated scenario refers to spending money to outsource the necessary developments. Outsourcing means spending the money on independent contractors who would otherwise not contribute their services in a volunteer fashion. For this, labor is accounted in hours. In the industrialized world, typical professional services may be $50 per hour.

Deliverables and Product Specifications

Specific, robust implementations of products taken from the General Scope upon which development will focus in this wiki. Forks to different implementations or spinoffs may occur, but should initially be limited to the 28 products that may be administered by a core development team, unless the core team has a sufficient number of administrators who can retain clear direction based on purity of conception, and who can provide quality control of the content.

    1. Industry Standards - This is a brief summary of techniques and product specifications that are found currently in mainstream market competition. This is provided to show a frame of reference that reveals how our developments relate to the status quo, and at what point they differentiate or evolve from accepted practice.

Market and Market Segmentation

    1. Salient Features and Keys to Success - Explanation of the critical features of the Deliverables, and how they can produce breakthrough developments, such as those of ecological features, durability, cost reduction, ergonomics of production, and so forth.
  1. Technical Design – The general assumptions for product design are, wherever possible: (1), lifetime design, (2), design for disassembly (DfD), (3), modularity, and (4), scaleability. Technical design progress will be visible in real-time, as updates are posted on an ongoing basis.
    1. Product System Design – This parts starts to define the technical aspects of products beyond Product Definition. This includes the product itself and framework of other products within which the product is used or fabricated. Product system design includes components of the Scope as defined in Product Definition. Different options, variations, or implementations of a product are included. Product system design is an iterative definition, such that the best approach will be pursued as additional information becomes available. Particular product development forks may be selected. Product system design includes:
      1. Diagrams and Conceptual Drawings - these may include:
        1. pattern language icons that help simplify technological discussion, see technology pattern language icons
        2. Structural diagram of the technology
        3. Funcional or process diagram
        4. Workflow for productive activities

Technical Issues

main technical issues to be addressed and resolved

Deployment Strategy

Prioritization of steps to be taken, such as design prototyping fabrication iterations. The goal is to build on past work, involve additional developers, obtain peer review, identify prototyping collaborations, and follow import substitution to build capacity locally, until an integrated technology base, including provision of feed stocks, is under control of a community.

  1. Performance specifications
  2. Calculations: design calculations, yields, rates, structural calculations, power requirements, ergonomics of production - labor and fatigue, time requirements for production, economic break even analysis, scalability calculations, growth calculations
  3. Technical drawings and CAD
  4. CAM files whenever available

Component Design

Design of components related to the product system. This will be the main thrust of the wiki, as product ecologies are based on individual components. These components are likely to be located on their own subpage, because each component design has a number of subsections:

      1. Diagrams
      2. Conceptual drawings
      3. Performance specifications
      4. Performance calculations
      5. Technical drawings and CAD
      6. CAM files whenever available


breakdown of components into subcomponents will be provided as needed.

  1. Deployment - Deployment prograss is visible by the documentation provided in the sections above, but tangible results of substance can be documented by pictures, video, data, and so forth. Progress is designed to be transparent to the observer.
    1. Production steps - fabrication, assembly, and any strategic insights of the production process
    2. Flexible fabrication or production - describes infrastructure requirements (equipment, utilities, etc.), tool requirements, techniques, processes used
    3. Bill of materials - materials, sourcing, and prices of required materials or feedstocks
    4. Pictures and Video - of materials, parts, prototypes, working models
    5. Data- any results that are measured
  2. Documentation and Education- this section is dedicated to preparing and disseminating results, in the form of publications and technical reports.
    1. Documentation - reports on results, or more comprehensive reports educating interested individuals in mastering techniques under consideration.

Enterprise Plans

The bottom line to this entire project is whether economically significant goods and services can be produced in a replicable fashion. Are people able to use the presented information for entrepreneurial, right livelihood goals? The best mark of a complete development process is the number of independent replications. That is, is the information sufficiently complete and clear, such that people can egage in an entrepreneurial, subsistence, or neosubsistence opportunity? To facilitate this process, we are publishing enterprise plans that help to clarify and deploy enterprise opportunities related to the products in this wiki. Since the authors will be either directly or indirectly engaged in many or all of the projects- in an economically significan way- it is natural for working business models to be developed and shared. It may be claimed that enterprise plans, coupled with thorough background information - is the essence of a true education. A true education is one in which rapid learning enables one to be a self-sufficient, productive, and constructive steward of their community and of the greater world.

  1. Collaboration - this section is a clear definition of work that needs to be done and how in particular the development and deployment process can be shared with the greater community. The basic procedure is for the collaborator to learn about the background and status, and to begin addressing the issues that need to be addressed. The list of Developments needed is the basic call for contributions.
    1. Review of project status
    2. Current Steps - lists current development work that is being done
    3. Developments needed -
      1. General - wiki markup, supporting links, relevant background, soliciting peer reviewers, and other details at 'Identifying stakeholders' below - are always welcome.
      2. Specific - This is the essential part of the wiki, as it lists the specific tasks to be done for project deployment. Collaborators should view this list and pursue addressing issues.
        1. Background - this motivates why a particular approach or implementation was chosen, and why others have been eliminated, and, possibly, under what conditions the eliminated options could be revisited.
        2. Information - This is a list of information-level tasks to be done, such as collecting background information, producing designs, performing engineering calculation, doing feasibility studies
        3. Implementation - This is a list of hardware-level tasks, such as fabricating prototypes, procuring materials, and so forth.
    4. Sign-in - Please sign in with your name and contact information if you are contributing information. Name, email, and Skype are preferable. This is to facilitate communication.
  2. Resource Development - This section is aimed to organize resource development or funding for project deployment. This includes:
    1. Identifying stakeholders - this is a list and description of individuals, groups, organizations, and institutions that may be particularly interested in the product under development, at any of these levels:
      1. Information collaboration
        1. Wiki structuring, markup
        2. Addition of supporting references
        3. Production of diagrams, flowcharts, 3D computer models, and other qualitative information architecture
        4. Technical calculations, drawings, CAD, CAM, other technical designs
      2. Prototyping - collaborators with access to fabrication capacity
      3. Funding
      4. Preordering working products - see Soliciting stakeholders below ###Grantwriting - see below
      5. Publicity - help in getting the word out on developments, and recruiting new collaborators
      6. User/fabricator training and accreditation - New skills will be required to operate the economy proposed here. Training and accreditation is a natural part of product dissemination.
      7. Standards and certification development - Independent review will be solicited as a means to verify and control quality of products and services.
      8. Other
    2. Grantwriting - The development process is designed to have sufficient background, motivation, definition of issues, breakthrough potential, technical content, and integrated comprehensivity; such that grants and various proposals for support should fall out as a direct byproduct of the information content. This is a mechanism for outsourcing some of the fundraising function of this deployment effort. We encourage codevelopers to study any or all of the products to understand them sufficiently well to be capable of writing grants related to product deployment.
      1. Volunteer grantwriters - One avenue is grantwriters who volunteer to write grants at no cost grantwriters.
      2. Professional, outcome-based grantwriters - These grantwriters collaborate in grantwriting by adding value to the proposal effort, and get paid a percentage upon success of bringing in resources
    3. Collaborative Stakeholder Funding - Once products are demonstrated, we will solicit stakeholders to fund production capacity. This is a highly innovative social enterprise model, where stakeholders contribute a small amount, say $50, to the actual building of a facility for producing a specific item under the model of flexible fabrication. Funding will go towards: (1), building the flexible fabrication facility with the appropriate equipment, (2), bringing in and training a person who will operate the flexible fabrication facility. The motivation for the stakeholders is an absolutely lowest cost product - at near the price of materials - if the design is sufficiently simple and flex fab capacity is sufficiently advanced, to minimize the cost of production. The trick here is to be able to fund a facility collaboratively, such that the price reduction in the cost of production can be realized. This is essentially a question of distributing the development and production cost via a collaborative enterprise model.
    4. Tool and Material Donations
    5. Charitable Contributions

Development Work Template

Product Definition


A general description of what the product is, why it is needed, what it should do.

General Scope

The scope of what the product will and will not cover. (?)

Product Ecology

How the product relates to other aspects of living, and how other aspects of the local ecology affect the product.


How will the product affect the local economy, how will it be locally produced.


How can the product scale to larger or smaller enterprises.

Analysis of Scale


Lifecycle Analysis

An analysis of the life of the product, its materials, and its effects. For example, the CEB makes brick from the local soil, and the soil returns to the ground.

Enterprise Options

How the product can be used for enterprises.

Development Approach


Development Budget

Value Spent
Value available
Value needed

Deliverables and Product Specifications

What the general specification of the product are.

Industry Standards

What other similar products do and how they do it.

Market and Market Segmentation

Who will be interested in the product in general, and what the different segments of people there are that will be interested.

Salient Features and Keys to Success

What key features the product needs to be successfuland what needs to happen for those to be made.

Technical Design

Product System Design

Diagrams and Conceptual Drawings

Pattern Language Icons
Structural Diagram
Funcional or Process Diagram

Technical Issues

Deployment Strategy

Performance specifications

What the exact specifications will be of the product and what it does.


Design Calculations
Structural Calculations
Power Requirements
Ergonomics of Production
Time Requirements
Economic Breakeven Analysis
Scaleability Calculations
Growth Calculations

Technical Drawings and CAD

CAM Files

Component Design


Conceptual drawings

Performance specifications

Performance calculations

Technical drawings and CAD

CAM files whenever available


Deployment and Results

Production steps

Flexible Fabrication or Production

Bill of materials

Pictures and Video


Documentation and Education


Enterprise Plans

Resource Development

Identifying Stakeholders

Information Collaboration

Wiki Markup
Addition of Supporting References
Production of diagrams, flowcharts, 3D computer models, and other qualitative information architecture
Technical Calculations, Drawings, CAD, CAM, other



Preordering working products



User/Fabricator Training and Accreditation

Standards and Certification Developmen



Volunteer grantwriters

Professional, Outcome-Based Grantwriters

Collaborative Stakeholder Funding

Tool and Material Donations

Charitable Contributions