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

Bob Baddeley hackerspace-discuss at bobbaddeley.com
Wed Oct 3 19:36:25 CEST 2012

I like the idea, and it probably isn't a _scam_ in the sense that it's 
intentional swindling, but I see a lot of issues that the project 
managers haven't addressed in their campaign.

Some problems I see:

If you look at the list of perks for contributions, only one of them 
offers anything physical, and most of the rest are beneficial only to 
people who are close to that space. That makes the available population 
for donations pretty small, and their required donation size pretty 
large in order for this to work.

They're spending a lot of money on new things like mills, chairs, and 
tables, all of which can be had for MUCH cheaper used and sourced from 
nearby. If you want to talk about clean technology and sustainability, 
try reusing and recycling.

At 4 containers of office space, they can only expect to have enough 
room for16 premier members. 80k of income is barely a dent in the 1.5 
million goal. In other words, how much can they expect to get donated at 
each of these levels, and is it enough to get to 1.5 million?

How realistic is this for the space? Is the space available? Is it zoned 
appropriately? Do you have the support of the local community around the 
area, and is it in a location that is likely to be central to its 
members or at least accessible by public transportation? Do permits 
exist? Does the infrastructure exist to support it? You'll need some 
beefy electricity sources for some of this equipment which may not be 
available to that location. What is rent and utilities expected to cost; 
raising 1.5 million is one thing, but if you now have a bunch of 
lifetime members but no monthly income and no room for additional paying 
members, now what? There is no indication of planning of this project to 
determine its feasibility.

There are a lot of lofty goals that are mentioned but not part of the 
1.5M. It needs to be more clear about what the 1.5M will be able to 
afford, and then some stretch goals at specific levels. Otherwise we're 
being sold on this nebulous deliverable, which is not accountable and 
not realistic.

To summarize, neat idea, but it'll take a LOT more work to make this a 

Bob Baddeley

On 10/03/2012 12:06 PM, Aurélien wrote:
> Steven Sutton <ssutton4455 at gmail.com> writes:
>> 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?
>> Steven
>> 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
>>          _______________________________________________
>>          Discuss mailing list
>>          Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>>          http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>>      _______________________________________________
>>      Discuss mailing list
>>      Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>>      http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
>> _______________________________________________
>> Discuss mailing list
>> Discuss at lists.hackerspaces.org
>> http://lists.hackerspaces.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
> Hi hackers,
> Wow so they have a t0wn, mugs and much more things but no website?
> No webmaster in a hackertown -_-'

More information about the Discuss mailing list