Open Source Product Development Pipeline

We have proposed the scalable, Open Source Product Development Pipeline methodology over a year ago. It’s merely a formalization of an actual process, which was not high.

What are the challenges to a scalable, open product development methodology – which has the power to transform the entire globe to an open economic system – within a few years, if not months? Open-sourcing the entire economy is a well-bounded problem, if done collaboratively.

Of course we cannot look to existing power players to lead this task. Thus, this task is relegated to the peer-to-peer decentralists – of which there are many in the ranks of the movements for open source software, open source hardware, transition towns, economic localization, and resilient communities, among many others. So why is this not happening? I don’t think many people find eating their own dogfood – in the sense of entering the subsilience lifestyle – a savory proposition.

Most people do not see that the world in general is very close to availing the Maker, subsilience lifestyle to everybody. Read Plenitude, read The Homebrew Industrial Revolution, and read The Unplugged. Zombie – wake up and smell the coffee.

The subsilient eating of our own dogfood is close to our hearts here, and it does connect closely to the hairball conceptual diagram above.  Allow me to give you a personal view of how the scalable, open product development process really works.

Today, I sit-on-ass documenting The Liberator Master Bill of Materials. This is hard work, but it must be done for easy access to The Liberator, and it must be done only once. Sean and I will do complete video documentation of the build starting next week.

Add Will to the picture. He produced the complete 3D CAD, and we went from there to produce the complete bill of materials for the open source tractor. We got design review from the local fab shop, and they helped in the design of the 150 ton hole puncher – for stramlining fabrication, which we already tested in a fabrication task. We bought the materials for the tractor, and now it’s time to build. For additional resources, we put up crowd funding baskets, and they are filling to support our work. Add Sean to the picture. Sean is documenting, and we put up plenty of video updates on our blog for transparency. The prototypes are coming out one after another.

The above demonstrates a basic process of design-build-fund-review-test-document-iterate cycle. It’s our daily life. To go faster, we only need to have more people. We’re doing the above with only 2 technical developers.

Add further resources and people, and this could really scale. Can we find more people who care deeply about the world – and can do things like design, CAD, building, using the phone, writing down Bill of Materials, documenting, welding, networking, drilling, baking bread,pickling, pipping the pips, working the land, and so forth? These are all generalist skills, which take only desire to acquire, based on a motivation of resilience. Look what we’re doing with 2 people – and imagine what we could be doing with 10 or 20. I think, personally, that with about 10-20 people specializing in generalizations, our quality of life here could explode. I also believe that if we build a community of about 200, we could sustain a technology base up to microchip fabrication at the level of 1990s computers.

People and resources are still key. Now we have 92 True Fans, and things are looking good. For other updates – we will transition to for crowd funding support – because those folks are particularly interested in post-scarcity economic development, and they are offering marketing and collaboration incubation services. Another collaborator volunteered to apply to the Buckminster Fuller Institute Challenge for us. It appears that we’ll have a Dedicated Project Visit on developing our True Fans program. Another collaborator wants to co-auther an academic paper on transformation towards resilient communities, and we may be presenting at Resilience 2011. We are still planning on the northern California tour, in November. The influx of positive assistance offers is on the rise – which means that more of them will go to fruition. These are indeed exciting times, and as we always say around here, we ain’t seen nuthin yet.

Join us. We like to say, just quit whatever you’re doing, and join this game. We did. We wish it were that easy for others. For clarity – when we say join us – we mean for some serious work, starting with a Dedicated Project Visit.


  1. BenK

    This is pretty similar to Pascal’s wager; the question is, how much of today’s life – investment in the current system – do we surrender to achieve in a future that may or may not come and at a time that is difficult, if not impossible, to predict.

    From my perspective, it took centuries for the Roman Empire to degrade, and even then, well into the process, buying into the system was helpful in many ways. The Byzantines of the 1200s and the Hapsburgs of the 1600s were still using titles from the Roman Republic to display their importance.
    The British royalty was on the way out with the American Revolution, but it took until the 1920’s for the hollowness to settle in against many of the nobles and even now the House of Lords is still a nice place to be.

    Many people are ‘zombies’ but even the aware don’t necessarily see a way of making a rational choice about where to invest.

    1. Marcin

      The question boils down to one’s ability to comprehend the full index of possibilities before us. I’d like to think that we’re not offering a case of Pascal’s wager, simply because our underlying formula is the mundane process of converting existing technology into its open source variant. There is no mystery whether this can be done or not. But how do we explain this to others, when they cannot see the possibilities that arise as a result? Short of showing someone the results in real life, I believe that study and practice of transpersonal psychology is a key element to raising awareness. Personally, I have gained my present index of possibilities by such means. One other interesting solution that I ran into today is, believe it or not, ‘gaming as a means to address pressing world issues?’This one was an eye-opener for me:

  2. Joe

    A little confused by the opening paragraph — do you mean to say something like “we’re not just talking to ourselves”? My sense is that plenty of people are following this work.

    1. Marcin

      Sorry, the link is now corrected. The number of comments on the referred blog post – which we consider to be one of the most central themes of our development – is zero as of today, over a year after the post was published.

  3. spilli

    hey, i think all that is missing for your project to take off (in a moderate sense) is more visibility. e.g. on the different online communities that exist, like web designers, programmers, agriculturists, do-it-yourself people, environmentalists, wikipedians, electronics people, designers, open hardware people, ubuntu/debian people, people on reddit, slashdot, different aggregators. the green partys (they’re strong in europe). people creating their own local energy economy, other communities.

    i think it’s nothing but a matter of visibility!

    (a thought on the above comment: maybe it’s not so much the ‘index’ of possibilities, because that will allow people to put you in the daydreamers corner or will give them difficulties understanding 20 concepts at once with which they’re not yet familiar with. maybe it’s just the ‘mundane process of converting existing technology into its open source variant’! because that can be understood in an instant and because you’re actually doing it! this is it for me (if i may say so), that’s what makes it interesting!))

  4. spilli

    obviuosly, i forgot “gamers”, real-time-strategy like starcraft2….

    1. Marcin

      Great suggestion on the visibility issue. Which part of it can you help us with?

  5. […] experiment in that direction. This may or may not work, but it certainly is an intended part of the replicable, scalable, open source product development method. GD Star Ratingloading…GD Star Ratingloading… Share It Hide Sites […]

  6. spilli

    okay, I will try to raise awareness on reddit and slashdot and other tech-sites. maybe i’ll try to post it to forums for farmers, or environmentalists.

  7. Crowd Funding Update | Open Source Ecology

    […] by next year – which is key to our plan for upgrading operations along the lines of scalable, open source product development. So chip in. If we don’t get the resources in time, that means that we’ll just have to […]

  8. […] project management process for developing complex projects – which we could apply to our open source product development pipeline method. Our response to this is this burndown graph for deploying the Global Village Construction […]

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