OSE Fellowship Model

From Open Source Ecology
Jump to: navigation, search


The Thiel Fellowship is an inspiring idea, albeit in the broad sense. it affords further concentration of power, as opposed to its fundamental distribution. A Distributive version would be accessible, based on a requirement to share knowhow openly. Further, it must be low cost. But is not 'an exclusive Fellowship for the Common Man' as OSE proposes a fundamental contradiction in terms? Let's design this contradiction out.

Cost must be low, such as free or $10k for entrance. Can it be free? No, some form of 'paying attention' must be displayed. Further, a $10k investment demonstrates an ability to raise this reasonable amount of funds. Indeed, it can be a reimbursed - we just need to show an ideally non-punitive (not interest-based) way to get in.


  • OSE helps find funders
  • Family and friends
  • KIVA loan
  • Zero interest loans
  • Veterans apprenticeships, etc
  • Go to your local chamber of commerce, promise is after 4 years, after successful completion, you get to bring an operation back to town as an OSE Senior Fellow - working on replicating a facility. Successful graduation means that we collaborate on a new franchise, with the franchise fee enforced as collaborative development. Thus, there is no franchise fee pending such development. Careful metrics are established, such as collaborative development could be:
    • Participation in building a new open sector enterprise
    • A public project, such as a swarm build in a given community
    • Collaborating in a product release of a new contribution to the product ecosystem


The OSE Fellowship is a four-year, $100,000 work-study grant for young people who want to learn how to learn, collaborate openly, build new things, and innovate on pressing world issues.

If there is a tuition ($10k) - how to motivate?

At the least, a tool deposit and application fee should be required - so that people are responsible for equipment, and people are paying attention. Tool replacement involves 3 air guns, 2 drills, multitool, router, hand tools, level, etc. About $3-5k used in the first year. Detailed Swarm Build Tool Schedule is based on the tools collated at Fab Tool Icons

To show your commitment, you have to buy in with a refundable deposit - that you work your way out of while getting an education.


24 students require $2.4M generated over 4 years to meet the $100k grant per student. This is $600k per year in stipend, or average of $25k per year.

Say a loan of $10k. Living costs are $1000/month-$500/housing and $400 in food. $12k/year.

Work time - Basic Apprenticeship Resource Model gives $500 stipend per student in pay, plus $700 from $50k net on the sale - for a sustainable $1200 budget per student with no money left over for operations. Foundation runway covers operations, and program is self-sustaining.

That is 10 hours/week. 3 month cycle including sale is reasonable - so that the first 6 month hump must be overcome. Once overcome - learning curve of students and time to sale are addressed.

With 2 days of work with 8 hours each - we are at $1920 generation per student per month- about 2 months per house.

Basic model allows roughly $100k generation, every 2 months - at 2 work days per week baseline. There is a clear win here - $2k/month value gen per student. We can afford to pay $1k/month for clear runway. Clear 50/50 revenue share with work-study.

This means 6 builds the first year, based on an inefficient 3000 hour per house. This can be cash flowed, with basic operations secured. But not growing.

After 12 months, we get to 2 days, 1500 hours per house. 8 days work per month - 1600 hrs - one house done per month. At $25/hr, costs $40k in stipends or $1700/person. Definitely enough to live on. $50k rough operations budget per month net - $600k per year net on the apprenticeship model.

This sounds stable, but is not exponential. Lots of time is spent learning - so achieves quadruple bottom line - of education, workers, society, and open sector. But needs fifth and sixth wheel - environment, and global impact. Environment means solar energy powered modernity from dirt and twigs to a new civilization, and global impact means scalability. We can diversify into integrated academicians doing less work (and less pay) and integrated builders more work (more pay). Here we build infrastructure:

  1. Offer housing on site - saves costs, generates revenue
  2. Building out RLF capacity to new areas
  3. Establishing full integrated landscaping for living, working, agriculture, recreation - and inspiration
  4. Automation for open sector development

Here we scale from 1 team of 24, to 10 teams in the next recruiting round at 1 year of time.


  • $100k over 4 years means full time at minimum wage ($12.50), so you can get $50k and 50/50 education at minimum wage. Year 1. 50/50 work-study means stipend of 12.5k first year.
  • For basic skilled rate of $25/hr - you get 50/50 education opportunity. Year 2. 50/50 work-study means $25k in the second year.
  • At year 3 - $37.50/hr is top of industry (1000 hour build time) - 50/50 means $37.5k.
  • At year 4 - $37.5/hr (but ideally to 750 hrs build time goal at $50/hr) - we have 700 hour work (2/3 learnign, 1/3 work=study)

This is not so easy. But the quicker one gets to 1000 hour build time - the better.

2 days per week work is completely manageable. Once $31.25/hr is attained, this means 2 days of work per week. Completely manageable while allowing 3:1 learning:'work'.

Thus, the assumption is that in 2 years, one will be completely functional ($31.25 level) - 1200 hours - reasonable - allowing for 2 days of work per week for the $100k. This is achievable if we have a high rate of builds (repetition) - 6 builds first year. This does mean that year 3-4 one either gets more efficient, or works more, for the $100k. I would expect outliers to perform at this rate initially, meaning at most 2 days of work per week. Most people will average 3 days of work per week on average. Test these predictions, and see what we find out.

It's slightly better: at 1200 rate, we have 6 days per house build - or 3 weeks if we do 2 days per week. It takes us 2 years to build up to this rate conservatively, but I would expect in 6 builds, we are at 1200 hrs for all of us.

Operational revenue thus goes to a little higher than 12*$50k.

2 day Per week Work Scenario

What if we continue to suck for a while? 3 months means 4 homes per year - but that is ridiculous squared - 4600 hours per house. This is still a considerable rate - if each person goes through the whole.

Budget is $10k tuition, potentially refundable as a completion bonus in 4 years. We have $240k working capital, and at 3000 hrs per house at 2 days work per week - we need only 2 months per house. This is only $800 stipend per month. Meaning we can hardly survive, in which case we can subsidize the student and get paid back from future work.

What if sale didn't occur till month 6?

Cost per month is 8 days *12.5*8 hr *24 students = $19200. $10k tuition here provides $240k total - or 12 months runway! Good. Even 6 months runway would likely suffice, designing for 12 is a good idea, though.


The $100k OSE Fellowship grant comes from 2 days of work per week, with performance requirement equivalent to a 1200 hour build (with corresponding hourly stipend). This is a challenge and a motivation. Given that the learning curve will be intense, we would expect to meet the $100k grant sum for only those who advance in the organization. The $100k Grant must thus be related to leadership - a person would have to rise to crew leader and construction manager to gain this - such that the construction managers and slower people end up at $100k grant average as a group. At a not-so-excellent average of 1500 hours per build over 4 years, we are at $77k Grant after 4 years. It is clear that the ones who rise in responsibility, say half the crew as construction managers within a program that is scaling rapidly - making easily $150k in the 4 years so the average is $100k grant per person. Then the crew has internal coopetition to rise, with a culture that we help each other because we have one metric that corresponds to group performance to encourage the overall efficiency of a swarm build. We remain at the 2 day build - 4 day study schedule, with self-funding operation.

For robustness: 1200 hr means great rate of 3-4 weeks per build. Net should come to $50k per house net revenue - as operational funding.

For scaling, this must be highly robust in: recruiting, skill acquisition, staffing, permits+legal, land acquisition, sale, materials funding, and managing runway risk.

Initially, the strategy is that we focus on minimum work-study pay, until revenue from house sales kicks in. The rate of progress is rapid: 2 months per house initially (3000 hrs per), going down to 1 month per house. Bottleneck is sale time (3.5 months in 2024 - 50 days for offer, 45 days closing (mortgage etc) [1]. 1:2 initial ratio of build to sale time.


Recruiting key: people with a farmer work ethic, who are open to learning and genuinely are interested in a better world. Minimize the 'saving the world bullshit', look for people who have grit and integrity - not theoretical (elite) but practical integrity. With a $10k zero interest loan of 4 years, candidates should not have an issue.

Skill acquisition: invest in exquisite design of the RLF, reinforced by the possibility of a 2 week Crash Course whose product is a small house. Possible windfall to putting this house on existing, subdividsble land. Invest in earthworks in Savannah to test a Mini House concept for rent or sale?

Staffing - invest in a construction manager, so that the 24 can scale readily for every new crew leader. Can we start building a new cohort - now started with a few who build to a full team - as soon as we have a construction manager? Can we take this to a new house build, for 2 at a time? Likely we can try this after first couple house sales.

Permits, legal - cost of $2k from upgrade of existing model? Get electrical plans, and electrical/plumbing consultants.

Land Acquisition - not the high cost here if we do urban infill, or subdivide existing St. Joe into 5 and Savannah into 3.

Materials funding - with payroll, this adds to $100k per house. At $100k a pop, we need $400 runway minimum. This is $10k tuition, for $250k, and $250k from grant. We can build up by 2 months for house 1-3 which means payroll of $20k - so at 6 months we spent $120k on payroll, and $180k on materials. Thus, the tuition is critical.

Runway Risk - with materials as the main cost, we should be investing in materials production capacity as early as possible to save 20% immediately and 60% near term. We should be 3D printing infill and making trim boards immediately - which are currently significant costs.

At 12 month mark, the stable revenue is accelerating, with the critical point at 6 months. But once 12 months are reached, we promote to construction manager and crew leader from within as part of their factory floor to C-suite promise.

Thus, the critical point is making it through 12 months, from which point we can realistically begin implementing 10x for 2025.


The 10x point is the point where we can generate new house designs, secure land and permits, and build on a time scale of a house per week. Specific milestones include:

  1. FreeCAD design workbenches have been automated to the point of design choices in one day, and extraction of build detail by the crew in one day. The crew learned to manipulate the CAD files to extract technical drawings and other drafting details.
  2. Submission of plans to building departments on a weekly basis. On-staff engineer, architectural consultant, plumber, electrician, and electrical engineer recruited to produce and submit plans readily.
  3. Land acquisition - purchasing department addresses this point, with visionary land use planning involved where every development strategically adds value and regeneration to communities.
  4. Each of the areas (drafting, architecture, blueprints generation, engineering, solar design, thermal storage design, etc) is backed by high quality design guides specific to solving housing with best practice
  5. Resetting the playing field involves communities that start with construction services as their enterprise, resetting job availability and cost of housing because solving housing means solving jobs - so that the location could be anywhere - as in 40 acre developments that reset the playing field around them with integrated design of solar energy, agrihoods, and distributed manufacturing - as enabled by lower barriers to entry via open source.

Financial milestones mean stable operation achieved progressively:

  1. House every 2 months. $25k/month operations budget. We set up a track for builders - OSE Tech School (4 days build, 2 days study) - in addition to OSE Fellowship (2 days build, 4 days study). We roll this out at the point where we can generate blueprints/submission packages readily (6 months, or several builds and full design automation). We can at this time pursue minimally zoned jurisdictions, where we work with clients to submit plans, and regulatory hurdless are minimal - such as mobile microhouses, other pre-permitted lots, etc. Expected time to reach this milestone is 6 months. Builder track is minimal, with only a few students in it - otherwise we compromise a higher learning ratio, and run the risk of scheduling conflict for building (permits require too long)
  2. House every 1 month after 6 months. Operations budget rises to $50k/month, and we can begin to talk about scaling rapidly. Revenue goes 50% to program development (RLF, infrastructures) and 50% to hiring staff, where 'hiring staff' means investing in open rapid learning curriculum so that we grow talent in house. This is critical due to the cultural innovation that we are pursuing, where even the Tech School people do 2 days of personal development (learning how to learn, mental models, Integrated Intelligence - defined as moral intelligence (purpose, connectedness) driving emotional and intellectual intelligence.
    1. Note: There is risk in hiring from the outside. Thus, best way to address it is to build in Rapid Onboarding Curriculum for culturally aligned people - continuing to develop talent in house. We cannot overemphasize the societal transition required: a cultural shift to sharing can be compared to the 'second coming of the savior'. This can be controversial - Validate this mental model.

Collaborative Design

  • Everyone learns how to learn and to be an integrated human. This is 2 days per week - learning how to learn, learning how to learn specific things by understanding existing resources and bodies of knowledge; largely about psychology, mindset, mental models, surveys of knowledge, counting, communicating, etc. This is soft skills leading to the art of possibility. Observing and removing mental blocks to performance. Effectively 4 years of motivational speaking, applied with practice.
  • One day is technical training in the Rapid Learning Lab - for technology or information technology. Integrating design with implementation according to Construction Sets.
  • Another day is Service - community service and swarm builds of various types.
  • To allow for collaborative learning, we break into 6 groups of 4 for teaching, so each group learns a topic at a time out of the ~20 build topics. This includes technique in 17 areas, CAD, design, jigs, machines, and automation.
  • After each group demonstrates proficiency, they teach each other by generating learning materials. These materials are based on the initial lectures.
  • This is designed to not overwhelm the group with the amount of content required for building a house.
  • After year 1, we learn technical drafting, so that the crew can generate technical drawings from CAD. We also learn module design, so that a collaborative group learns the technique for synthesizing complete designs without getting in each other's way.