[Noisebridge-discuss] noisebridge credit line - cashflow cushion / lasercutter

Shannon Lee shannon at scatter.com
Tue Jan 11 01:46:54 UTC 2011


Nobody on the mailing list doesn't know what a credit line is used for.
 Many of the people who hang around here work for startups or have started
and run their own company.  Noisebridge does not work according to the rules
that you expect a company (or even a "normal" nonprofit) to work by, and
this is an intentional choice on the part of those of us who had a hand in
putting Noisebridge together -- not because we didn't know how other, more
traditionally structured organizations worked, but because it was a chance
to do something different and more interesting.

Not everyone who was involved in putting Noisebridge together over the years
agreed with every decision we made.  Please rest assured that every feature
that makes Noisebridge different in structure from a small business, a large
business, the Freemasons, the Catholic Church, the Cub Scouts, various
German hacker spaces, countless San Francisco anarchist collectives, and
everything else anybody else who is currently involved in Noisebridge has
ever been involved with in the past, has been exhaustively debated and

Please trust me when I say that you have not yet brought up anything new.
 Many of the things you've brought up are things we've had long and
sometimes painful discussions about in the past.  Most of us are tired of
talking about them.

You've probably heard a lot that Noisebridge is a do-ocracy; it's probably
driving you a little crazy every time someone says that to you.  In
practice, what this means is that you need to have *done* things
successfully in the space before anyone will listen to your suggestions.
 Noisebridge has no shortage of very smart, well-educated people; what we
mostly have a shortage of is *time* from those smart people to accomplish
good stuff.  If you want to accomplish things, then *do* them; put some of
those brains and education to work coming up with something you can either
just do yourself, or that you can get others to help you with.  Until you
accomplish some noteworthy things within this community, nobody will believe
that you are worth listening to, and you will continue to get shouted down
every time you make a suggestion.

The name for this phenomenon is Social Capital.  You earn social capital by
doing useful stuff without requiring someone to prod you into doing it.
 Your Snackbridge is a good example of a project along these lines; we'll
see if it becomes something useful and interesting (there is a whole
economic model here -- Snackbridge is a Social Capital Venture; if people
like it, it will earn you Social Capital; if people don't like it, it might
lose you Social Capital).

You spend some social capital every time you make a suggestion on the list.
 Some of us spend our Social Capital as fast as we earn it; others bank it
against being able to do something really interesting.  Right now, you are
operating at a Social Capital Deficit.  People are responding poorly to your
suggestions because it is the Noisebridge equivalent of writing bad checks.

So, please: take this opportunity to participate in Something Completely
Different from anything you'll have talked about in school.

I hope this is a useful way of looking at things.


On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:11 PM, Patrick Keys <citizenkeys at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hopefully my final comment on this:
> The reason companies buy things on credit even when they have the entire
> cash to buy it is to have better control of their liquidity (the cash
> they have).  Spending $5,000 or $10,000 or whatever it is on the laser
> cutter is ALOT of money to spend at once.
> Whoever pools together their money and buys the laser cutter:
> consider financing it instead of shelling out all that cash at once.  I
> still say Josh Myer's lease-to-own explanation was brilliant,
> appropriate, and worth considering.
> Patrick
> On 1/10/2011 5:01 PM, Jonathan Lassoff wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 4:54 PM, Patrick Keys<citizenkeys at gmail.com>
>  wrote:
> >> You could accomplish the same exact goal of having a laser cutter with
> much
> >> less effort and faster by just donating money to Noisebridge
> >
> > I think you summed it up pretty nicely right there. If there is a
> > group of people that really want a laser engraver for Noisebridge,
> > they should get together, pool their money and buy a laser engraver
> > for Noisebridge. Done.
> >
> > There's no need to bring "Noisebridge" the corporation into this. The
> > corporate entity is intentionally minimalistic and really only exists
> > for tax reasons.
> >
> > Frankly, Noisebridge the corporation does not have a very stable and
> > regular management (which on some level is partially my fault, but is
> > also intentional), so making commitments (credit at a bank or
> > otherwise) will likely be seen as a risky proposition since there wont
> > be any strong accountability for it.
> >
> > On the other hand, an individual can go and get a line of credit
> > themselves and buy a laser engraver in their own name and donate it to
> > Noisebridge with a lot less hassle than bringing in the corporation
> > into this.
> >
> > My two cents.
> >
> > Cheers,
> > jof
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> Noisebridge-discuss mailing list
> Noisebridge-discuss at lists.noisebridge.net
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Shannon Lee
(503) 539-3700

"Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science."
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