Meeting Notes/20140218

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DISCUSSION ITEMS BlinkenBats: Making them available for sale and profit (Ralph Schmidt-Dunker) Other items to make and fundraise (hack-bat shirts, lasered items etc...) Laser Metering (Amy & Jessica Ross) Allocated number of laser hours monthly Purchase additional hours Small bank of yearly hours for some flexibility Laser Alternative (Chad Franke & Tim Fredland) Monthly fee to allow 3 hour blocks of time instead of 2 Membership drive and appeal, & community outreach (Tom Long) Merchant Account and Freshbooks switch to Stripe or Braintree (Paul Bonser)

DEFERRED ITEMS NONE PROPOSALS BlinkenBats: Making them available for sale and profit (Ralph Schmidt-Dunker)

q: how will this be different from the way we do it currently? a: we should have a few pre-assembled to just hand out. Also, higher price

q: will those remove the ‘I learned to solder at ____?” That seems to defeat the purpose a: Yes, but this is SXSW - there will be people who say ‘here take my money’ for a done thing

discussion… At this point we got ~1000 bat kits, burned most of those, 80-90 cents a piece. All components on them it would probably be $1.50.

Perhaps we should make a bunch that don’t have the ‘I learned to solder premade’ We might be able to assemble 2/minute if we are doing this ourselves.

q: Ok, how much do you want to sell them for. Do you want fresh new ones? a: I can front cash for this, etechnet could turn them around in two weeks - but not soon enough also: we have less than 300, less than 50 pre-assembled, we need batteries and magnets

proposal: suggest we audit what we have and get it ready to sell; buy the bits needed specifically: $3 for kit, $5 for class? ...that’s what we did before. perhaps: $5 for a pre-assembled, or we get a kit and

Some people were surprised we were charging at all we need to reaffirm ‘this supports your local hackerspace.

q (aside): anyone know what happened to midnight maker? a: they tried doing something else and then imploded

agreed: $5 flat price for a kit with class or pre-assembled kit


Laser Metering (Amy & Jessica Ross) Amy is absent, Jessica explains The idea is to make a little more money out of it, but not punish regular users All members get 20 hours, 40 hours a year The 2 hours per day reservation still hold This proposes we

q: With 20 hours per month, that’s only enough for 35 people a: Yes, this might be a little low…

a: Based on usage statistics we have about 4 members who use more than about 10 - 2 hr blocks per month, therefore this does not gain us much.

We could implement a lock-out and calendering program All of this will require work to implement q:How does makeATX charge? a:$100/month and small time blocks

Laser Alternative (Chad Franke & Tim Fredland) There is an alternate model, charging for extra reserved hours This would result in tiered subscriptions, which may complicate things

Comparing these models… The $0.70/gram model for the makerbot

In other hackerspaces we do have a ‘binary permission model’ Do you have money paid into the fund? If so, you can use it. This allows members to pay into funds to support new things Members thereby vote with their dollars to support what they want

quick mathe session ensues If everyone who uses the laser puts in $20/month, it pays for the laser We could cover burst usage by having people pay into a kitty a lesser amount

Aside: Martin is in discussion in paypal has Instant Payment Notification (actually ~30 seconds) to confirm transaction

Maybe we could give a little monthly time (like 2 2hr blocks) Basically a fremium model ...well, yes we could. We definitely need a back-end system to do this… We need to have logging and lockout to consider most of these options. idea: Possibly we could charge $5 for a two hour block, self-policed, and get some cash now

aside q: how many members do we lose if lock out the laser? a: clearly a bunch, 20% of us have the training and might be affected, but only 4 as proposed

taptaptap low on time here Martin will do financial Followup for next meeting: Jessica will talk about it on the list as a proposal for next meeting

Membership drive and appeal, & community outreach (Tom Long) Ralph, Tom, Michelle - you all should talk Ralph suggests bringing in external people for online marketing. Tom and michelle absent. Ralph brought this up to the board, haven’t had a response yet.

Merchant Account and Freshbooks switch to Stripe or Braintree (Paul Bonser)

Paul has looked around. response: 2.8% -3.1% of our total revenue (base fees and transaction fees included) We pay ~$300 per month, we might pay $400 in fees on a $10,000

That seems lower than I had heard, but we could do better ...anyway, it would be cheaper to use a transaction gateway API instead of a merchant account All credit card systems charge a flat transaction fees, but we have interchange, batch, and so on We could outsource the issue and just have the gateway deposit in our account for their fee.

In the last 12 months, nobody has paid us less than $20. On the replicator some people pay for like 1 gram ugly fact: We are in a gymnasium track. We have many members who don’t know us who will drop us like a hot brick as soon as we touch any service. At least a third of people paying us never swipe in or show up here. We need more *real* members who will ride the adjustments and show up.

q: Do we have API access with our account? a: There are 4 of ‘em, we should have access to all’em

q: Can we get a: No, we are stuck with first data

suggestion: It sounds like Paul and Martin need to have a conversation. Paul definitely has some good suggestions that will avoid suicide… Martin is aware of practical communication

consensus: martin/paul conversation continue elsewhere please. This weekend.

Temporary $10 Dues Increase for 6 Months

This additional fee would begin The fees would be per-person, not per-account

Everything we have on hand in the hackerspace is now deposited. Cash on hand is zero, we have no money in our safe or hiding in the couches (well, maybe a few dollars) As we speak we have $6700 in the bank, our rent is $6400 and we owe more in bills than we have in the bank. We have $6800+ in bills This is the last of the last of the last of the buffer. We may be able to survive on 140-150

We have lowered expenses about as low as we can (HVAC and such wise)

q: we can ratchet this down if we get the members needed earlier? a: We can always do this if we pass this.

Let’s review the problem If everyone was paying $50, we would get $6850 (which they don’t) aside q: How many people are on the cheap? 113 members, 11 friends-and-family, 9 reduced rate, 3 student, 5 yearly

Our monthly costs are about $9600/month A fair hackerspace price for the current users - $65.69/member (flat for all) we would have no profit We would, however, meet all expenses

Tom and Ralph proposed that having a professional work on this to get us members q: is it time to get a message out there, do a membership drive in 4 weeks and get us members? a ralph: It’s enough time for an effect

No matter how you slice it, we’re $2200 short, consider that. Even with the memberships of Arc Attack and Revolt we are

Rafeal Rodriguez (bitcoin guru) was not aware there is a hackerspace We need to

q: would a big push really help? a: It’s possible, we’ve gained maybe 25 members per month

When we did public events we grew, when we stopped doing that we lost members Having EFF, Bruce Sterling, Dorkbot, etc doing stuff suggestion: ELECT Executive Director, make this happen

In the past event, event, event will We have never stopped hearing ‘I didn’t know there is a hackerspace in Austin’ This indicates we still don’t have our name out there.

So, back to the $10 increase. We have a real expense cap, we need $2000 by hook or by hook. q: Rent party? a: by hook or by crook. Go ahead, organize it.

The lights will go off, can we ask our own members to give more money? Can we rely on altruism? There are probably members that would spend more money just to keep lights on. ...we shouldn’t rely on that.

Well, we need to recruit.. long term.. needs to happen. Are we going to raise money now raising the funds?

We can always do this now and revisit it later We can do all of the above; no need to limit to one or the other

There are several different things per night, technical meetups all over We could have a few members go to those.

Additional option Well, Martin can make the shortfall public and put a big debt-o-meter out there with opt-in calls

If we do not pass this vote out right now, it will not affect March We will make our March rent payment, the rest of the finances will be a crater

motion: send this option out to a vote, discuss other options as we go seconded: sent out for a vote

We have funds, projects, expenses to fill - all of these things will help.

Agenda complete meeting over