OSE Self-Funding Business Model

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(linked from 2 Year Strategic Plan)

Abstract - We are proposing a development platform for open source products (see Extreme Manufacturing) with the unique feature of bootstrap funding for viral replicability. We are doing this by tapping economic power of community-based production, while aiming for a viable alternative to centralization. This route depends on generating effective open source production competitive with closed-source industry standards - to create a new economic option based on a transformed mind-set of abundance. This method involves economically-significant production of high value products combined with entrepreneurship training, via an OSE Campus model which focuses on interdisciplinary training as a means to reconnect students to a higher level of appreciation of Essential Production. The goal is to create an autonomous subculture and organizational unit in society - a Tribe of Integrated Humans - who lead by showing a transformative lifestyle of Movement Entrepreneurship towards the Economy of Affection.


We have initial evidence that productive work of building GVCS machines can yield $100 per hour. We can capture this value via social marketing. This figure is obtained from a 50 hour requirement for the production of a single CEB press, which we sell for $9k - where the materials are $4k. However, there are currently design and sourcing blocks. The machine has recently been improved by Texas developers, and is currently undergoing testing. Combined with design changes, the organizational time involved in production - considering materials sourcing - will dilute the productivity by a factor of 2. It is our goal to close this productivity gap by year-end 2012


Scenario: Can 12 staff be supported by production? Our staffing goal for FeF is 12 people by year-end 2012 to bring GVCS development into rapid pace while demonstrating scalability of the Open Source Ecology Paradigm.

Typically, staff are supported as employees, but is it possible that staff were self-supported by production? This challenges assumptions of specialization yielding highest productivity. However, from a systems perspective - where productivity internalizes effects on things we don't readily see (such as concentration of power, sweat shops, war, corruption of centralized systems) - having a self-supported staff is a good idea. Further, this idea becomes practical when access to open IP makes high value production practical by small, efficient (elimination of competitive waste) teams.

Thus, we are questioning the very essence of employment - why do employees (alienation for compensation in most cases) exist when value can be captured more directly? Is this related to the notion that 'people suck' and 'the weak' will always depend on the productivity of industry leaders? We challenge this assumption. This has a positive effect on liberating human potential for tasks of higher purpose rather than of survival, while addressing most pressing world issues related to material scarcity (resource conflicts, poverty, corruption, etc.).

We are aiming to determine whether leveraging access to open innovation and open source technology - and by training people to become more responsible - it is sufficient to liberate communities from the stress of material existence - by cultivating responsible humans who engage efficient production via wise use of modern technology. This experiment builds on the work of Buckminster Fuller (infrastructure systems design), Gandhi (autonomy of communities), E. F. Schumacher (seminal work on economic relocalization), and it builds on new opportunities found in the digital age. We are aiming at demonstrating a case example of post-scarcity material existence in select pockets of subculture, with a network of such subcultures as a viable alternative to the dominant paradigm.

Team Ergonomics and Facility

We are aiming to produce $5k of value in one day of Collaborative Production in the FeF Workshop. OSE RepLab (A self-replicating Fab Lab currently has 12 bays, 256 square feet each. This structure can easily accommodate 12 working teams.

Operationally speaking, let's take this scenario. Take 12 staff, and volunteer Apprentices - which are core to the Factor e Farm effort. with one apprentice each, and Production Director (one of the staff) guiding the effort - 25 people total in the workshop in a fully-evolved operation. There would also be 4 welders available, and power to sustain 4 such welders on a continuous basis, and power to sustain 8 welding stations in part-time operation. There would also be 4 Magnetic Drills available, 2 torch sets, Ironworker machine, and a CNC Torch Table.

Work Flow

Let's take the case of the CEB press. Main steps involve ironworking metal, hole punching, welding, torching, electronics production, hydraulics preparation, bandsaw cutting, cold cut sawing, abrasive saw cutting, and others. Assume that all materials are on site, sourced reliably - then the actual labor hours involved in the production run are 60 including CEB Controller. With 12 people, this should in principle take a single working day.

Preparation would mean 4 hours of ironworker cutting time and hole punching time.

Setup would involve laying out all materials on 6 working tables: See FeF_Workshop#Design

  • Frame (2 people mag drilling to assemble frame)
  • Hopper and safety covers (cut out on CNC torch table)
  • Drawer - 2 people tag team on welding
  • Milling a circuit board - done ahead of time
  • Controller box assembly - Controller and sensors (2 people in electronics area)
  • Shaker motor assembly - 1 person
  • Hydraulics assembly - 1 person
  • Roller guide, sensor holder assemblies

The above work plan involves 12 people. In the FeF scenario, we will have apprentices on site as well, so there will be a total of 24 people at the shop capable of carrying out the production run. One day should suffice for the build of a single machine assuming:

  • Complete documentation available (fabrication video instructionals, exploded part diagrams, comlete, annotated fabrication drawings), fabrication walkthrough tutorials, Crash Course Fabricator Training, and fabricator practice in a prior build)
  • Rigorous management plan for division of labor
  • Preparation after hours of the day before:
    • Metal pre-cutting to size (ironworker) - obviates need for heavy materials handling equipment in workshop
    • Layout of metal in work areas
    • Cleanup of all areas
    • Preparation of all tools and consumables
  • Spotless ergonomic organization of workshop into 6 working tables (see FeF_Workshop#Design
  • Sound execution (attainable via study of documentation and practice)
  • 100% equipment and electricity uptime
  • Replacement consumables available
  • Swarming by other team members to remove blocks


  • Complete CAD drawings from new Texas developments
  • Space needs to be organized in Workshop
  • Overall production ergonomics optimization involves secure sourcing assisted by import substitution
  • Tooling needs to be optimized
    • Open-source: CNC Circuit Mill, Torch Table, Ironworker, CNC Multimachine, Inverter, Welder, Plasma Cutter, Stepper Motor Controller, 3D Scanner, Cold Cut Saw
  • Flash Mob Development - provide any outstanding technical documentation and review of the production/management process

Development Points

Technical Development

  • Import substitution on hydraulic motors and cylinders
  • Import substitution on Power Cube engine (modern steam engine with gasifier burner)
  • Development of tractor to full product release
  • Development of CNC Torch Table to Full Product Release
  • Decvelopment of CNC Circuit Mill to Full Product Release.
  • Streamlining of CEB controller fabrication
  • Opensourcing of CNC Torch Table controller
  • Opensourcing of Stepper Motor Fabrication

Organizational Development

Proposed strategy:

  • Visit microfactories in China for Stepper Motors, Stepper Motor Controllers, Inverters, Welders, and Electric Motor/Generators.

4 Production

(Produce a Graphic to Explain This)

Next Steps

Learning Infrastructure Development

Radical boundary-crossing, cross-training begins with training of individuals who would otherwise pursue a more disciplinary path. The first step to OSE's success in bootstrap funding is generating crucial training materials.

Key training materials include a number of hands-on topics. These now need to be developed into curricula: Building_a_Team#Factor_e_Team_-_Learning_Community

Tool Development

  • Produce full CAD for the latest CEB press prototype
  • Upgrade facility to 0 down-time workshop power (inverter + backup generator
    • Improve safety on PTO generator
    • Secure generator-welder from Team Wikispeed
  • Improve tooling
    • Develop and Deploy CNC Circuit Mill
    • Build out CNC Torch table (support table, electronics (Start with Geckos, move to Open Capitalist Controller)
    • Deploy Prototype II of Ironworker machine
    • Plumb-in workshop-scale hydraulic power outlets

The basic organizational ecology revolves around the Founding Director, Director of Development, and Product Director. These people provide strategic development to keep the organization on track, under the oversight of the OSE Board of Directors.

The basic productive ecology on site at FeF revolves around the leadership of the Production Director, Farm Director, and Construction Director. Each of these have several interns in training, where the Directors are responsible for training the apprentices. Bootstrap-funding production occurs primarily through the Director-Apprentice pairings. Apprentices may be unskilled or may be professionals (such as welders, machinists, farmers, builders, etc.). In all cases, all apprentices are required to expand their skill sets via cross-training to become Integrated Humans. Products include GVCS tools, Immersion Learning Workshops, and products of these tools such as houses, agriculture operations, Microfactories, energy farms, OSE Campuses, and even small scale republics (as in Small Scale Decentralized Republic Development Corporations).

These directors also collaborate with OSE Fellows (new product prototypers/developers), Distributive Enterprise Incubator entrepreneurs (production replicators), and Fabricators.



This is a Bucky Fuller paradigm shift and it needs its own "language" to become embodied...fair enough. However, there is a gap between a statement as a rarified (esoteric) vision and how we enable people to grasp it. Bucky just plunked the words down and said "get on board". I question that here. I think the easiest transition is from a known to the less known in steps. I wouldn't start out with the first paragraph. I think this thing should begin with an Illustration, a question. Can 12 people...etc. Develop that little story in one paragraph make it seem possible and then say, well, if we did that it would mean this and then jump to the more esoteric theory. Just my thoughts on a well organized and otherwise articulate statement for a text book, but not for people in my community with little education and less vision for the future.That said, they do dig the CEB press and are very excited about making more and "doing something" important in the community.