[hackerspaces] Help me make it happen for 'hackert0wn' on Indiegogo

Steven Sutton ssutton4455 at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 18:54:45 CEST 2012

I don't think it's a scam, just an ambitious portfolio of projects.
However, I can see where Matt came go that conclusion because of the lack
of Return on Investment data for each of the sub-projects.

For example, small-scale testing and yield rates for aquaponics are
available from various labs. If crops are grown to be sold, then an
optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely revenue estimate can be created
for a given square footage and used to project the amount of time that the
investment will be paid off. The same for the retail location (where
revenue per square foot data for similar retail businesses could be used as
a benchmark).

You don't have to get super technical, as that will turn some people off,
but you have to also instill confidence in the worthiness of the investment
and probable success of the project. Unless I see numbers, I have a really
hard time imagining the cost justification for using hydrogen fuel cells in
the initial build. Or the initial $150+ per square foot cost. Or the lack
of maintenance costs and plans.

If it were me, I would take a phased approach and demonstrate this on a
small scale before going big with it. Looking over the data, I think it's
possible to get 80% of the features for 20% of the cost.

It's a noble project, but the pitch is difficult to understand from a
technical perspective. I think you need a better model of the project in
order for it to go viral. It has to seem just within reach to get people
excited. That means an achievable initial investment, very little waste
(with each sub project justified), a cost-effective architecture, and a
10-20 year Return on Investment including the continuous costs to run the
facility over that time period.

If the facility were to be paid off by member dues alone, 12 months * 20
years = 240 dues payments, which requires 6000+ members to pay off. Also
troubling is the lack of information about continuous labor costs,
licensing, inspection, impact fees, and contractor costs.

So why is the pitch so vague?

On Oct 3, 2012 12:09 PM, "Matt Joyce" <matt at nycresistor.com> wrote:

> Seems like a total scam.  The cost estimates are nonsensical and there is
> practically zero detail on the project beyond those.
> Probably had to use indiegogo cause kickstarter would have shot the idea
> as proposed down.
> -matt
> On Oct 3, 2012 8:57 AM, "Psy Tek" <psytek at alphaonelabs.com> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I'm writing to let you know about 'hackert0wn', a pioneering educational
>> center for clean technology and sustainability featuring the world's first
>> marketplace for hackers.
>> Take a moment to check it out on Indiegogo and also share it with your
>> friends.  All the tools are there.  Get perks, make a contribution, or
>> simply follow updates.  If enough of us get behind it, we can make
>> 'hackert0wn' happen.
>> http://www.indiegogo.com/hackert0wn?a=1498290&i=emal
>> _______________________________________________
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