Wed 30 Nov 2022 8:37AM

Do more with less

I Ivana Public Seen by 96

In one of the posts here somebody posted a link to Sensorica (I think it was @Billy Smith ) and I took a good look at what they do and how they do it. One thing stayed with me - their slogan: "do more with less".

What does that mean?

It means try to achieve things with as few resources as you possibly can. Rather than producing a business plan, which requires so many thousands (or even millions) to happen, and then trying to attract investors, they suggest trying to advance things without that as far as possible.

I was trying to think how that could be done, and what I arrived at is: define discreet pieces of work that are doable by one or two (or a small group of) people in reasonably small amount of time and then look for volunteers, or if your project is not-for-profit ask for sponsors (soomebody could sponsor an accountant for example, to work 6 hours a month for your project for free), or ask for discounted services (many companies offer significant discounts for not-for-profits).

Then the next discreet piece of work and so on. To define these pieces of work, collaboration would be possible (and even desirable) between those who know the subject well, and also those who know nothing about it but can ask useful questions and learn something. We can also collaborate on spreading the word about the projects under way, producing communication material, retweeting/remastodon-ing, blogging, etc...

This only makes sense if there is 100% transparency, no ifs, no buts, so that nobody feels taken advantage of, and also only in case of not-for-profits. The venture could make a profit, of course, and should, but after all the liveable salaries and bills have been paid, 100% of the profits should return to the planet and/or community.

Another thing we could collaborate on is: to define how a business can be set up in a way which allows it to make profit and at the same time makes sure that 100% of those profits are returned to the planet/community? What legal structures allow for that in which jurisdiction?

Why not also think together how one can move from an idea to a real project - step by step. There are lots of ideas out there, and they are the easy bit. For them to see the light of day, what needs to be done, considered, thought of, prepared, communicated etc? How to get to the point where one is ready to raise tthe necessary funds for those things that cannot be done voluntarily, and how to minimise the funds necessary? How to pledge time, energy, space, hosting services, design services etc for a project that we like? All the platforms I have seen only deal with pledging money (of which they take a cut)... so how can we let a project know that we are prepared to work for it a few hours a week for 6 months, and how can that projects hold us to our word? IN case of money, there is the credit card that gets charged, but how can the pledges for anything other than money be honoured and what happens if a project counts on them but they are not honoured?

There are lots of things we could think about together.. .if you feel like it.

And then we could walk each other from the start point which is an idea to the end point of: happily serving the planet and/or communities. We could invite new people to join this 'school' of How to do More with Less, and walk them through that school too.

As always, looking forward to your thoughts.

Have fun.



Ivana Thu 1 Dec 2022 7:28AM

That's why the not-for-profit approach, where if you've got profits, you don't pocket them, but give them away (after payig yourself a decent, but not outrageous, salary). That approach does not mean Profit-above-all - at all, and as the founder doesn't aim to pocket vast sums very quickly, there is no short-termism either. Have a read of the How on Earth book - it illustrates neatly what forces are at play in this approach.


Billy Smith Wed 30 Nov 2022 5:45PM

Hi Ivana, :D

  • Yes, it was me that mentioned the Sensorica model. :D

They're an interesting group of people to work with, and, the international approach towards collaboration means that we are all learning from each other, as every different country has a different way of doing things. :D

  • Whilst making a return is important, the search for Profit-Above-All is a short-term way of thinking, that does not lend itself to the building of effective infrastructure, but without generating a surplus of energy, you won't have the spare capacity to deal with the effects of entropy damaging the things that you build. :D


Ivana Wed 30 Nov 2022 4:17PM

Some reading about the not-for-profit economy... Jennifer Hinton https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1902/1902.01398.pdf even though it's not actually not for profit. It is very much for profit, where profits are not pocketed by the shareholders or presidents, or CEOs, but put back to the community. I'd prefer to call it a profit-for-purpose economy, as that is what it actually is, but by the time I heard about it, the name not-for-profit was already there.

That is all laudable, and there are soooo many things we need to do, but in my view, the cleaning and greening of the planet takes priority over all else - if it is at all possible to prioritise. Anyway.. I hope the book inspires some creative thoughts...

Within this context it is easy to see why it would make sense to collaborate - because whatever anybody achieves, we all benefit.