Q and A
Structure and legal status?
This Open Value Network (OVN) is a non-registered association - Code civile section V, 2267. It is composed of other OVNs, as well as of other legal structures that fulfill specific functions, such as Custodians (they are trusts) and Exchange firms (they are interfaces with the market).
Some Exchange firms
BDanConcepts - prototyping and digital fabrication services
Ocean Builders - designing habitations at sea
What is the business model of Sensorica?
Open Sensorica's business model V3 [Note that this document was last modified in 2015, but most of it is still valid]
Why is it important to document our work?
An OVN is a flow-through organization, which means that people come and go at a rate higher than in a traditional organization. It is important that every individual who passes through the network leaves something behind, so that stuff can pile up, so that our commons can grow in order to increase the economic potential and the attractiveness of our network. Documentation is part of what we call capturing mechanisms. Picture a river that goes fast in a mountainous area. The bottom of the river is usually filled with rocks, a desert. Imagine this river now meandering in a plane, going through small lakes and continuing its path towards their oceanic destination. As the river slows down, sediments deposit to the button and plants and animals gather in numbers and diversity, creating an ecosystem. They become capturing mechanisms, taking essentials from the flow and depositing them in and around the lake, transforming it. An OVN is similar to this slow river zone, slowing down the flow of agents and capturing resources, increasing its wealth and diversity. Documentation is one example of capturing mechanism. It fixes knowledge, processes, methods, etc. so that others can build on top, later.
If there is no "boss" in this organisation, who leads ventures and ensures tasks are completed?
Unlike most corporations that implement a managerial "top-down" approach to governance (the CEO instructs upper management, who instructs lower management, who in turn guides workers), the OVN implements a participatory and meritocratic approach to governance. Anyone can gain access to planning and decision-making. No boss, no chaos! Open networks have their own mechanisms to make their processes deterministic and focused.
For reaching determinism in processes, instead of using coercion open networks make use of redundancy: have enough agents around so that every important need can be addressed by multiple agents with almost 100% probability, in effective time. This requires that the organization stays above the critical mass, to have always someone that can respond favorably to a task, with a high probability. This mode of operation reduces the burden on community governance. We call that operating in the long tail mode. See the presentation no boss no chaos.
To stay focused, we use stigmergy. We map possibilities and do planning and use various coordination mechanisms to guide affiliates towards out what to do and when.
Ventures that operate below critical mass must use a heavier governance, rely on regular meetings and clear engagements from participants.
How do I make money?
Sensorica is still a living lab with the mission to figure out how to scale material commons-based peer production. If you are here to get rich fast, you're not in the right place.
There are different ways you can work sustainably as an affiliate of this OVN. If you need fast revenue, join a funded venture or a venture with a product, you'll be paid according to the role you play and to the amount of effort you put in. You should also look at services, which are easy to implement and can pay very rapidly. You can join any venture and take as much initiative as you want, even bring more people with you to accelerate the pace. You can also get creative and fund the development of a venture or organize a crowdfunding campaign.
If you are more interested in social value, you can apply for grants that will pay your contributions. See more on grant writing here.
These are just a few options. There is a lot of potential within the network and you can take a lot of initiative. The best thing is to ask other affiliates for help.
How do I know where and how to contribute, in order to be effective and to have a good return?
At this moment, the best way is to contact someone in the network to guide you. But you can also visit the Venture page.
We are creating tools to help everyone manage his/her investment (time, money and others). When it comes to product development, these tools will analyze activity and will report which ventures are advancing well, their risk level, how close they are to the market, what are the most important needs, etc. This will allow us to diversify our activity within the network in order to meet our risk tolerance and our material needs. You can join the infrastructure development group to accelerate this process.
Why is it important to socialize work?
Ventures are open. The difference between an open venture and a traditional company is that the open venture gets its resources for development from its environment, which can be the entire world, through various crowdsourcing processes. The traditional company deals with a finite pool of resources, such as the number of employees, its budget, etc. OVN-type ventures develop by attracting skills, material resources, money, ideas and designs, etc, through affiliation (i.e. individuals with different assets join) and contributions. In order to attract more resources to a venture, we need to send signals out there, using social media and other means, about our successes and about our problems. Socializing our work means making our work available to the public and engage people in it through social media, by posting and propagating content like blogs, pictures, videos, etc. It is also very important to realize that open ventures require a critical mass to become statistically stable. In other words, they require redundancy or a minimum number of individuals that are ready to fill a need at any moment. In order to keep ventures above the critical level, we constantly need to reach out to participants. Ventures that fall below the critical level become unstable.
Why is this website so ugly?
We built our website on Google Sites because it is user friendly and adaptable, allowing all affiliates to contribute to shape our digital environment. We are designing better web infrastructure. Can you help us with this transition and make our site the best it can be? Please join our network. Se more on Open Value Network infrastructure.