Building a basic and robust Transition infrastructure, freely

Nice to see another company making the cultural-freedom business model work for non-software-program stuff - in this case, making local fabrication machinery suitable for the transition economy:

…how do we get the work funded? The collaborative microfunding is perhaps the right idea. The Core Teams develop technical details. Then we fund prototypes, optimization, and the building of optimal production facilities. Why should low product cost be feasible? Because we have a lean operation with little overhead, and if funded, we have low-cost production capacity that can match even slave goods and mass production. The new economic age is here. We are not talking of many hundreds of thousands of capitalization requirements for similar enterprise. We are talking of open-source-fed production facilities that will cost on the order of $10k to build. There is cascading cost reduction, for example as we use our CEB to build the facility, or the solar turbine to power it. As such, ‘capitalization costs’ are ‘zero’- fundraising covers the cost. So far, we’ve operated 100% on voluntary contributions. R&D costs are zero - they are distributed collaboratively. All the costs are zero zero zero, outside of materials and labor. We capture the value of labor - but even if we charge $100/hour for the CEB - with optimized fabrication time predicted to be 20 hours per machine - that is still $3500 for a machine - factor 8 lower than the competition, as you can check for yourself. That $100/hour is very well worth it - if it’s not being dissipated in wasteful production ergonomics and wasteful product design. Moreover, all proceeds are used to fund further open product development. (Read more…)
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The Building a basic and robust Transition infrastructure, freely by David Crossland, except the quotations and unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

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