A critique of open source product development is that it “fails to provide positive capital feedback loops that sustain development.” Marketable products solve this apparent shortcoming.
We finished the MicroTractor build today – as a result of the Eco-Tractor Workshop:
Together with the the Seed Eco-Home, Aquaponic Greenhouse, Open Source Hydronic Stove, Open Source PV System, Biodigester, CNC Torch Table, CEB Press, Power Cube, 3D Printer – these are all worthy of widespread replication. These products are at 95-99% completion – but provide a solid basis of proof of concept that indicates 3-100x cost reduction (depending on how you do the accounting) over industry standards. Each of these prototypes are ready for the enterprise development phase, and careful attention should be given to this so we can scale the project by bootstrap funding. The Extreme Manufacturing Workshop model has huge potential, as does selling kits produced on-demand, creating information products, and providing other services. All while remaining hard core open source. So for example – an e-book or DVD may be an organized version of content that if freely available on the wiki or blog. Marketing strategy development lies in front of us – that is our weakness at this point.
We appear to be very near viral uptake by the rest of the world. As such, we intend to begin an immersion training program for movement entrepreneurs committed to solving pressing world issues by distributing production – OSE Fellows. These are indeed excitting times, with facility replication worldwide on the near horizon (within 2 years). This gives clarity to our on-boarding pathway: people start as OSE Developers, they are then selected as OSE Fellows, and after deep immersion, they may qualify to run new OSE facilities all over the world.