A new Hope, Marinea resurrected?

(noboxes) #147

I will delete my posts because i cannot speak Tagalog.

(Bob LLewellyn) #148

I didn’t realize that you were talking about qualifying for a license. I have a lot of what it takes but the physical aspect is no longer one of them. Sorry for not following better.

(Mark Stephan) #149

Whew! I should have logged in sooner to this thread to comment… Thanks for revisiting it @ellmer ! I need to make it a habit to log in once a day…

Below are my thoughts on the first Marinea project. Others may disagree :slight_smile:
I haven’t followed the thread enough to see the progress beyond the dissolution of operations for Marinea, but have some thoughts on what to do better next time.

You want to make it happen? Here’s what I recommend. It’s tough to do.

Important note: Below is my opinion if you are in the position of actively trying to start up a seastead within the next year or two. Each of those who read this are in different situations and the below may not apply to your situation.

  • Have a team of people all of which work on it more or less full time. The part-time, forum based, once a week call approach doesn’t work. You have to have that immediate, driven, startup atmosphere. If you don’t have it, the team will slowly get sucked back into “real life”. To do this, though, you have to have a means of supporting yourself and your family. Marinea (me in particular) didn’t have that ability to self-support during the development cycle, and couldn’t find enough funding to break beyond the conceptual.

  • Does this mean you have to be geographically nearby? It wouldn’t hurt. Distance development is difficult. Silicon Valley works (among other reasons) because everyone is nearby. It’s a concentrated hub of development and collaboration. Can you do it distributed geographically? Yes, but you will reach a point that you cannot move further without a tight development that, frankly, isn’t available through technology yet, and must be done in person. If you aren’t geographically near each other, you have to have a local support network to bounce ideas off of, etc. Technology hasn’t gotten rid of the need for face time (even if there’s an app named that).

  • Identify the right audience/right market. Capital-L “Libertarians” don’t have enough funding at a grass roots level to fund a project like this. In the several times I approached libertarians, I didn’t see anywhere near the amount of capital required to be more than a dot in the ocean… (especially with the number of different things they are “focused” on)
    You could find some capital in the bitcoin millionaires now, but you’d have to approach it from the right perspective. You can also go to the billionaire libertarians if you have the means to reach them… Alternatives are crowd funding via kickstarter or somesuch (though that would likely only get you at max a few million. Enough to quit your day job?), creating a bitcoin alternate as a financial instrument (as I believe TSI is doing), and basic level venture capital. To reach that, though, again you have to have a connection. It’s all about the connections. And even then, you have to have everything aligned before you can make it to the next step.

  • Don’t be afraid to partner with a government or other organization. I’m not here to start a fully self-sustaining free country at the start. Let’s partner and get something out there. Version 2.0 will be closer. And 3.0. And maybe 5.0 you’ll get to that point (20 years down the road). Does the government want to own it? Let them, if they’ll pay for it. Then with V2.0 get your funding from VCs and do your own thing.

  • Don’t lose the dream; sell the dream. You can’t sell a floating barge to investors. You can sell a floating paradise. Even if that is V5.0. Venture capital is based on dreams. They aren’t based on an app. To that end, you have to have the pretty pictures. Spend time creating the vision. If you can get a loan, you’re probably not looking in the right places. A loan won’t get you there (but could potentially finance you in the short term to allow you to quit and focus full time).

  • Don’t spend your cycles doing anything that isn’t directly linked to selling the vision, developing partnerships, and refining the concept. The website, promotional materials, and everything else should be outsourced. We are the experts. We need to focus on the high level vs. the details. Debating recycled water techniques or means of self defense isn’t valuable if you’re trying to sell the vision. You need to know the basics and what you think the right direction is, but you will likely not use the same technology, philosophy, or processes when it comes time to build or manage it.

  • Don’t let your concept be limited by your beliefs or the technology at hand. By the time it comes down to doing the actual development, the concept will be different than what you started off with. Would you really say no to someone who offered to fund the next year of development because he/she wants the project to go in a certain direction? Maybe if you have a lot of options. But right now, people aren’t lining up to fund projects like this. IMHO let’s take the money, build a successful project, and then take that success to spring us into a project closer to what we want.

Well have at it :wink:
I tried to detail my thoughts on the project and what direction I would take in the next iteration. Is it the only direction? Absolutely not. But it’s my interpretation of the most likely scenario.

(Bob LLewellyn) #150

Well Mark, I see you pretty well nailed it. The Libertarian focus was obviously the main failure. We didn’t need their money though, we needed to use an agreement between the two entities to get news time. We never broke into the news.

However, I like the story of how Edison had tried hundreds of ways to make a light bulb before he used tungsten. He was asked how it felt to fail hundreds of times. Edison was reported to answer the man, sir I have not failed hundreds of times, I can now tell you hundreds of ways to not make a light bulb. I guess it’s just a matter of perspective.

I agree 100% with you analysis though.

PS welcome back, you’ve been missed.


Hi Mark,

Very well said!

I also believe that the team working on the project should be able to self-finance an initial “critical mass” of the project. In the Marinea case, that “critical mass” should be getting in touch to the Bahamian Gov, obtaining a “permit” to operate in Cay Sal, and being able to purchase a commercial vessel for the purpose of setting foot there.

I would say around $100K minimum for the first round of financing. 10 people team, $10k-$15k each.

(Mark Stephan) #153

Thanks Bob :slight_smile:
I needed a little time to regroup, but happy to be a part of the community

(Mark Stephan) #154

Agreed. if it’s friends and family financing, that’s how many startups get rolling. Full time is a requirement…


Where did u see any “stated requirements” for Marinea?? We are just talking about a new way of getting it off the ground,…

“Parked” where?

LOL, If 10 partners, then $10k will get them 10% ownership in the project. :blush:

(Bob LLewellyn) #158

Yes, we saw how quickly we needed to add Mary to handle the web development, facebook, proofing letters and other normal office stuff. I think if we were able to get a million dollar grant, we would have a project in place. That one act would get us the TV news time that we need to grow the project itself.

If I was on a payroll, I would move to the Bahamas so I could pester the government people on a daily basses. We just had to work through too many limitations. Money is of course the big issue for all of scientific research. However, with out an initial grant to help pay the workers, I just don’t see anyway forward.

(.) #159

It seems to me, that any positive cash flow is better than none.
So any small amount of profit a seastead or a seastead-like entity makes is
better than no profit.

The start is difficult. I think, the expenses have to be minimized.
It would be easy for me to write down here general guidelines, and take cheap shots.
I find it difficult to start a successful seasteading business.

Anyways, for me I see a bit of possibility.

(.) #162

Are you a lowest wage employee? Would you like to be a lowest wage employee?

(noboxes) #163

We would need to discuss the details, but sure!

(.) #164

Well, fair enough. My difficulty originates from the idea of employees.
I would like to start a co-op and I am not planning to employ employees.

I donno, may be I am getting to be educated to libertarian level.
Well, possible, or something like that.

(.) #166

Value is there, work is there and the job is there, but I do not want to be an employer.

(noboxes) #167

May i ask why not?
post must be 20 chars.

(.) #168

I would like to work with people who are equal to me.
I would like to make an effort not to trap people into employee employer

This is the best answer I can give right now. I got to go. I’ll be back.

(.) #171

Want ad:
Looking for a woman, who likes to fish.
Likes to catch fish, likes to clean fish,
likes to cook fish, and has a fishing boat.
Please send picture of the fishing boat.

(sarcasm, of course it is a joke and I am not serious)

(.) #172

Ok, what about this then : you pay all my expenses to be out there
(including sun tan lotion, screens, tarps, bait, same as if it was you out there),
and you understand you could not have the store out there without me,
and i understand i would not be out there without you, so we are equals?


Please slow down, that sounds like a marriage proposal.



Wait a second,…

First of all, I don’t have a boat, yet.

Second of all, I won’t “park” nobody’s low wage employees on my boat.

My boat will be mine, not part of the “business” :slight_smile:


You are talking about another $200k on top of the $100k for the boat and a landing dock.

Please keep in mind that there is NO PROVEN DATA showing that a “marina-boating retail” model is sustainable in Cay Sal.

BUT, fishing, lobstering and aqua-coral-culture combined with responsible conservation and management of local marine ecosystems, WILL make you money in Cay Sal. To start with…

(.) #174

It appears to me that on an average, in the USA the imagined world by a person
is very different from the reality. Humans have a tendency for this in every country.
So, it seems to me.

People like to live in fantasy. This fantasy might prevent reality, or it could promote
things to happen in reality. It is like Thank you for Smoking, who knows what the actual
outcome will be?.

So here is a fantasy about seasteading: https://www.inkitt.com/stories/scifi/191200
There is some discussion in it about currency and economy. I do not know how much
the author knows about economy or currencies.