Template for spaces (first draft)


Feel free to prune/make additions/whatever.

Also, I'd like to schedule a day sometime in the next two weeks for
the meatspacers to climb into a large vehicle of some type and tour
the area and look at maybe three or four potential spots. When are you
guys available?

I'm free on weekdays after 5:30 and all weekend long.

same for me. post 5:30, and most weekends with a little notice.
before we go anywhere, we need to consider the idea of max rent.
no need in touring something we can't afford for year 1.

Ditto here. Off work by 5:30 on average.

Max rent. Well that links right into membership dues. So what are we
saying? Take current membership and times by 75 as a middle ground
between 100 and 50?

As I said in the meeting Saturday, there are too many variables to
determine precisely how much rent we can afford based on "number of
people" and "amount we charge per month for membership." It's all
just making up numbers. A more reasonable way to estimate might be to
determine how much square footage we need based on a decided
membership total. IE, we have 25 people in the Google group, but once
we have a physical space that number will likely get bigger. How much
space would we need to support 30 people? 40?

Obviously, not all 40 would be using the space at once. Say a max of
10-12 simultaneous users? (Again, we're just making up numbers.) So,
10 workspaces of 10x10 (100sq ft) = 1000sq ft. Average light
industrial space that we've been seeing runs from $0.80 to $3 per
square foot, so a rent range of $800-$3000 per month. If we go with
an average of about $1.50 per square foot (this is actually quite
cheap), with 1000sq ft and 40 members, that's $38 per month per member
- just for rent! Utilities, internet, etc are all not included.
Obviously we are going to be pursuing other sources of revenue (as
discussed in our meetings) but there ya go.

If we cap it and say "we can only afford $750 for rent" then we may
end up with a space that can only support 6 simultaneous users. Do we
cap overall membership then at 25? $30/mo for rent + $20/mo for
utilities, membership fee of $50? Also keep in mind we would like to
raise additional monies in order to add value to the space (purchasing
group equipment, adding improvements like gas hoods or additional room
additions, and other items the members would find valuable.) If we
purposefully pick a smaller space and restrict membership, who decides
who gets in and who doesn't, and based on what criteria? If we can
support $50/mo per user and there's demand, why not scale up?

And also, and I hate to be that guy, but membership to this might not
be cheap. We may find that this isn't doable without considerable
membership fees, that may price people out of participation. If we
can't find a usable space without charging members $85/mo, then that
might be how it is. Obviously this is not ideal but at the same time
we need a space that's usable AND affordable, which is going to take

Everybody can't pay the "starving hacker" rate unless someone else is
picking up the tab. If everybody thinks that everyone else is going
to be picking up the tab, we might find ourselves without a rent check
real fast.


I’m free to go visit spaces after 6 on weeknights and am free most of the time on weekends.

Also, I agree with Jason that it’s probably not a good idea to put any numbers out there that are going to limit what spaces we look at. If we found a really awesome space that was a little on the expensive side, we should still look at it and submit it to the group to be evaluated. I’d rather find the perfect space and then run the numbers, even if it would mean paying a bit more per person.

The $number_of_members and $membership_fees are not just hard to guess, but I think they are actually impossible to acurately guess before a space has been chosen because they will both depend largely on the space. In other words, I might be willing to pay $20 / month for a crappy space, or I might be willing to pay $100 / month for a ridiculously awesome space. So the price point and number of people willing to pay is going to vary based on the quality of the space.

I’m thinking of a process that goes something like this: we take any space that seems remotely feasible and present it to the group. Then have some kind of voting session that goes: “for this specific space, how many people would join at $20 per month? raise your hand.” Count hands, multiply by $20. If that’s enough to pay the rent, done. Otherwise continue: “for the same space, how many people would join at $50 month, raise your hand.” Count hands, multiply by $50. Etc. That way we can decide if it’s possible to pay for a given space or not. Then, assuming we find several spaces that we can afford, at some point we have an election between these known-to-be affordable spaces.

Does that make sense?


I also agree with Jason. Since this will probably take some time to actually find and acquire a space we could setup a small membership fee for now. This was brought up at the end of the last meeting but we decided to wait until the paperwork was filled out with the state.

Once that is done and we have decided on a name we can grab a domain and I can setup some services based around that (members email, chat, voting, etc.) Then pick a small amount (say $25/mo) for all members. This will pay for some basic upfront expenses if there are any (I can donate the domain)…but mainly just add to a fund to help put down an initial deposit on the rental property.

Any suggestions on how to pay for membership? Paypal?

Once we have a company bank account this part should not be too hard.

I would only be able to check out property on Sunday this weekend :confused:

Found one interesting property that seems to have a decent price w/ parking and location. Maybe we can add it to our list of places to checkout



$1399 / 1600ft² - Office space near UC\Clifton (UC\Clifton) (map)

That looks very nice, we should certainly check it out.

i too agree that we should not let current membership dictate space concerns, and i think we will see an increase in numbers when we have something “real” to show off. but we should keep in mind that space is something that can be engineered and compromised on. so rather than guess on membership numbers and rates, let’s get a handle on just how much space we will really need/use as we understand it right now.

can we start a conversation about what space concerns we will have? i think that some of us with more industrial type projects in mind will require more space than those of us with more electronics oriented projects in mind. granted, this is just gross speculation and assumption on my part, which is why we should have the conversation.

personally, most of what i want to do to start off is PC/phone/arduino oriented and i can’t imagine needing much more space than a big kitchen table some soldering tools, and some bins for spare/community parts. i certainly wouldn’t need that space more than a couple of times a week. at some point i would like to have a computer/router lab to mess with things, but again, not much space and certainly not used all the time and certianly not an immediate necessity.

for those of us that want to do/learn software oriented things, we can tuck servers away somewhere and access them from a couch with a laptop, so again, not much space.

can we use things with wheels to make the workshop space more flexible/configurable? obvioulsy not every machine/tool should have wheels, but surely some of them can. also, do we all need floorspace, or do we really need wallspace, storagespace, counterspace, or deskspace? can these different types of space be used for multiple purposes?

my major problem in my current living situation is having a place to take things apart. i end up sitting on the floor, losing screws and jumpers in the carpet, or commandering the kitchen table to my wife’s dismay. i would be most pleased with a big kitchen table and a chair with wheels.

so, think about the stuff you want to do immediately, think about what you will realistically need in terms of space and think about the kind of space you will need. what can be done to reduce the requirements for that space? post your thoughts to the need/want/wish list page in the google group in the need, want, wish i had format:

need: i can’t use the space unless i have these things (short, concrete list)
want: i can do fun stuff fairly soon that other members will like if i had these things (longer, not as concrete list)
wish i had: i have always dreamed about doing something with these things (sky’s the limit)

hopefully we can get an idea of what we will be doing in the short, medium and long terms so we have a collective idea of what we all need.

My name is Paul…

Seriously though I’ll look at whatever. It just feels odd going out without a price limit.