Shuttleworth Fellowship 2013 Video Script
Hi, my name is Marcin. Last year I promised completion of the 50 Global Village Construction Set machines. However, we lacked structure and process. I assumed that the ad-hoc development that got us on the world stage in 2011- would simply scale. I got stretched too thin and failed - and went through major growing pains.
We did by now mostly stabilize our infrastructure - including a 4000 square foot workshop and house for 10 developers.
We learned a number of things, and progress still trickled in. This is a graph of our progress since 2008 - for perspective - Prototypes_Built_and_Cost.
Note: All entries in this graph are hyper-linked. Click Edit below the graph and then click twice on each image to access the link.
This year, we have built a total of 6 new machines, compared to 2 new machine last year - bringing the overall total to 16 different machines. This year, we have had 13 independent replications of GVCS machines in 4 countries, compared to the single - first independent replication of the brick press last year. 63 machines were built in total worldwide.
The highlight of this year is delivering on the production optimization aspects of our work. My theory is that a better world - for me equivalent to sound governance - is based on absolutely efficient production combined with transparency. Efficient production to us means building our machines on a time scale of 1 day. So far, we have produced the Brick Press in 4 days in September - just a few days ago we build it in 2 days - and we look forward to December 18, 2012 - as we demonstrate the build in a single day - with largely a team of novices.
While one day applies to a rather simple machine like the brick press - we are demonstrating that this applies to much more complicated machines, like the tractor. In my TED Talk, I mentioned that I built a tractor in 6 days. It gets better. We are now developing methods to build a tractor in a single day.
The open source product development process is complex. It involves people, doesn't it. It involves the design, build, testing, and documentation steps. Here is our plan for the process and structure required to navigate these based on intense learnings from this year.
First - on the design front - we are refocusing development strategically around Module-Based design – as opposed to Machine-Based design. It turns out that it takes about 13 modules to build any of the 30 mechanical GVCS machines. Thus, we need to develop only 13 adaptable modules with attention to interfaces between these modules - to build a larger set of 30 tools. This extends our modularity concept radically - accelerating development - while making our tool set more robust and true to its nature as a life-size Lego set.
Second - on the prototyping front - we are taking a major shift - away from full time prototypers - and towards 2-day intensive production runs with our on-site team. We are further inviting guest Production Run Directors, such as our 2-day production run of Power Cube 2 weeks ago. We now focus on extensive preparation for one month - and a rapid build in 2 days - as our standard method of development.
To accelerate this design and build process - we are developing a tight team. The core is dedicated machine designers - who can be either remote or on site. We have 2 machine designers already, and are recruiting 4 more. We are recruiting a Product Lead, Documentation Director, Community Manager, and Operations Manager. We will continue developing our remote hackathons (Flash Mobs) for coordinated, crowd-based development - and we are recruiting a high level Technical Review Board. The goal is to stabilize our operation + provide proper review. This is part of Free Marcin Campaign - so I can transition to strategic partnership building and critical path refinement.
Field testing remains a major challenge because we are understaffed. To address this, we will develop pilot projects - in the form of NGO sector partnerships - such as tractor deployment in urban agriculture projects or house building in Haiti with Habitat for Humanity. This addresses the field testing issue - while providing product sales - and while feeding test data and documentation back to the project. This would allow our home team to focus on development and refinement based on the feedback. We also plan to invite the intended audiences - our users - to the Collaborative Production Run of their own machine.
On the enterprise development front - we will focus on taking key machines to market while establishing a funding model based on production sales. We see the Brick Press as the furthest-developed candidate, but the Tractor is close second and it has a much larger market. If we achieve the efficient 1 day production run per machine - we will be well-positioned to fund additional growth. We have initial results that indicate significant self-funding ability from our off-grid production workshop.
On the overall development - we will continue refining our standards and production tool-chains based on ongoing results. On the documentation front, we are now publishing a regular biweekly newsletter, we are continuing regular video updates, and we intend to involve remote video editors more in the future.
To sum up, this year we've learned a lot about what it will take to go from a one man show producing a machine in a few months - to an organization that could produce a machine in a single day. We are beginning to show results of innovative module-based design and production optimization - as a scalable method of delivering the 50 machines of the Global Village Construction Set - on a predictable time scale. Thank you for listening.