Our Revolutionary Financial Model
You’ll find on this page our vision of how to properly bring forth a sea colony, despite the colossal expenses such a massive project entails. This revolutionary financial model is predicated on our unique bottom-up strategy, which “pays” for work before it’s done and gives everyone a chance to own their future based not on their wallet, but on the effort they put forward.
Before we begin, please take notice as you’re reading; we’ve embedded this entire presentation with a collection of quotes, all from the same man. He is a legend in industry, a true innovator, and someone we feel would see both what we see and how we see it. Simply put, he would “get” what we’re doing and approve, we think, of how we plan to make it all possible. See if you can guess who it is.
The Real Challenge
Easily the most discouraging thing about the prospect of seasteading, especially done on the open seas outside of the territorial boundaries of another nation, is the enormous cost of such an undertaking. Besides the platform itself, which presents many financial challenges with building, placing and maintaining, there are the expenses that come from transport to and from, both for citizens/visitors and supplies. Annual maintenance on units like this runs into the millions as well, and isn’t easy work.
These costs cannot be understated; words such as “enormous” simply aren’t enormous enough to cover it. These are the simple realities we face. However, we see these costs as just another obstacle to be overcome, and we prefer not to focus on them.
“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.”
Why Has Seasteading Failed Thus Far?
To make whichever project they were championing “feasible”, from the cost standpoint, every would-be seasteading project has consistently tried to attract and hold the interest of extremely wealthy people.
They haven’t had much success.
There are many reasons why, but they all boil down to the same simple ignorance of logic. The realities of the true (not “fantasy”) seasteading life automatically preclude finding rich folks to back these projects. Wealthy people will never be interested in being colonists for more than a few days given the minimalist existence and, shall we say, “tenuous” safety parameters. Why would a rich person give up the comfort, security, and luxury of his land-based existence to live like a pilgrim on the unforgiving seas?
Wealthy people will never be colonists–at best they will be time-share tourists–which means they’ll never be “true believers”, and the first sea colony operations are no place for anyone who is not a “true believer”.
Likewise, spinning the ocean-life fantasy as an “investment” is foolish on any number of levels. For starters, these colonies are not going to be wealth-making entities for many, many years. That’s the unavoidable fact. If they make enough to survive, that will be an accomplishment for the first generation of colonists. The second problem with seeking the backing of wealthy people in an investment scheme is that firstly, they will expect a level of control that they simply cannot have–the project doesn’t allow for it for any number of reasons, and it defeats the purpose of the project to begin with. Putting old systems in place to try to create the new system. That’s just not going to work. It’s an illogical approach to a Herculean undertaking, and it’s bound to fail from the outset. Sadly, it’s the approach employed by virtually every single seasteading effort to date, until now.
“Be ready to revise any system, scrap any method, abandon any theory, if the success of the job requires it.”
The Arca Oceanus project is different. We’re scrapping the old method, because to achieve our aims we must. We have looked at the realities, and have concluded that wealthy people are not the answer; the risk-to-reward ratio is staggeringly out of whack for the wealthy, in terms of both the manner of living and the lack of sound investment. These are leaps the fat-cats can’t be depended on to make. Predicating an entirely new type of colony on this idea is a fool’s errand, and why would you want to anyway? If we wished to maintain this way-of-the-world, we wouldn’t be trying to create a new world to begin with. We don’t want how things are done today, and we don’t want the wicked, icy fingers of the robber barons in the mix regardless. They have a tendency to wrap around the heart of a project and corrupt it before it even gets off the ground (which is their purpose, after all–to maintain the status quo).
So how do you pay for a massively expensive undertaking without depending on people who have money? That’s the real challenge of the seasteading revolution.
The Key Word is “Revolution”
Fabricating a plot of land from concrete and steel, then plopping it down in the middle of the ocean (in the middle of nowhere) and creating a new nation on top of it…well, that could be considered a bit of a revolutionary idea. It’s going to take revolutionary thinking.
“The remains of the old must be decently laid away; the path of the new prepared. That is the difference between Revolution and Progress.”
Our project is at once laying the old away and preparing the path of the new. It is indeed revolutionary, and historically speaking revolution has come from the bottom up, not the other way around. This is exactly the approach we need to take if we want to make the dream of ocean colonization a reality.
In short, we have to flip the entire financial model on it’s head, so that the money comes from the people who don’t have any. Instead of trying to attract rich people (who don’t need a new society or new opportunity, since they already own the old ones), we’re going to go directly to the poor people and show them why seasteading is the answer they’ve been hoping for. Then we’re going to get the absurd amount of money that we need out of them.
Yes, We Really ARE Crazy
Only the truly insane would think they could squeeze blood from a turnip, but that’s exactly our financial model.
Here’s a thumbnail of how it’s going to work;
- We recruit only true believers who are willing to work their asses off to make this dream a reality.
- We use superior planning and organization skills to direct those hard-working true believers to, well, work hard (at recruiting, research, marketing, fabrication, and any of a hundred other disciplines that we find necessary to get the job done).
- We “pay” them by guaranteeing their position within the new colony–an “accommodation”. These homes–small, spartan, but theirs–will ultimately be their compensation for all the work they do to get us from conception to completion.
- We utilize the fruits of their labor, both tangible and intangible, to raise the actual cash we need to build our colony structure and get it ready for occupation.
- We continue to fund the new colony through profits generated by new ideas and new inventions “discovered” during the research and development phase.
- We carefully balance the project membership so that the colony itself is populated by the right mix of technicians, farmers, doctors, soldiers, etc. to assure that colony needs are met once we’re afloat.
- We continue to innovate and invent, so that the colony can be sustained by new and better ways of doing things–the proverbial “mouse trap” that we expect the rest of the world to come knocking on our door (with cash in hand) to buy.
- We go from “fantastical idea” to “floating island” within ten years. In that decade we create and launch new products and develop an amazing team of dedicated workers who can solve not only our problems, but problems brought to us by the outside world (who will pay for our talents and expertise). Once the world sees what we’re capable of, we go from being the world’s laughingstock to being among the world’s leaders.
- We do it without having to beg for their filthy lucre.
- We do it sustainably and cleanly, committed to minimal negative impact on the environment since it must remain pure in order to ensure our survival. In short, we act as good stewards of the ocean and all the life within, living in concert rather than competition with the seascape.
- We show the rest of the world how it can be done, how it should be done, how it must be done.
“The world is held together by the mass of honest folk who do their daily tasks, tend their own spot in the world, and have faith that at last the Right will come fully into its own.”
We believe whole-heartedly that the Arca Oceanus Project is the right coming fully into its own; that is to say that it will serve to free men and women who are currently bound by financial and other difficulties, and allow them to rise up and be who and what they desire and are capable of. They are honest folk who will do their daily task, and earn their own spot in the new world to tend.
So Who Are These “True Believers”?
That’s the million (or in our case, hundred million) dollar question. Who is going to work, without direct pay, for ten years, to earn a tiny home on what amounts to a small island on a giant ship, so they can live hundreds of miles out to sea, away from any of the comforts or modern conveniences of today’s land-based society?
By our calculations, lots of people will. Maybe we’re out of our minds, but it is our expectation that there are hundreds or thousands of people world-wide who will jump at this chance to prove their worth and earn their future. Here’s a short list of prospective colonists (with many potential others):
- The financially disadvantaged.
- The adventurer.
- Those running from something (abusive relationships come to mind).
- Those running TO something (a place in history, a chance to be free, an opportunity to really be heard).
- The dreamer/visionary.
- Homeless, downtrodden, disaffected people.
- Those who see the future, and know that this is where it begins.
Some of these categories may seem to overlap, but the point is that any number of people can identify with them and could, if the circumstances were right, easily see themselves risking life and limb to change their destiny through ocean colonization. True believers will accept the (especially early) difficulties guaranteed to beset the very first sea colonists because it’s an amazing thing on it’s face, but also because to them, it’s actually an improvement for their lives. Yes, they may go without the finer things. So what? Most of them already do. Being apart from large masses of people? Again, so what? Many who fit this list are loners anyway, or at least are shunned and held down by existing societies here on land. At least in a place like this they’ll be “real people” again, and that’s worth the risks and tribulations.
The real question is will these people, who are perceived by today’s society to be lazy and incapable of work, be able to sustain the effort (workflow) necessary for this project to have even the slightest chance of succeeding?
The answer to that depends as much on our recruiting and vetting process as anything else. Poor people aren’t necessarily lazy, though lazy people are typically poor. We have to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and then exercise discipline (as an organization, to be sure, but also of the “self” variety) to keep the project constantly moving forward at optimum output. Moreover, we have to be efficient and innovative. This means, in short, that we have to be smart throughout every part of the process.
It Starts With Proper Recruiting and Vetting
From day one, our organization has to focus on getting this proposition in front of potentially interested “future colonists”, by the hundreds of thousands. It’s going to take that big a pool of candidates to get the kind of people we’re seeking. From all the potentials, we’ll cull the finest of the “true believers” through a combination of testing and work-challenging.
Testing will take place at the start, and throughout the life of the project. In the beginning it will expose whether a candidate is predisposed to the characteristics that will allow for success in this kind of an endeavor, both as a colonist and as a pre-colony worker. The testing process will also show us the areas where we can offer coaching and motivation, advanced training opportunities, and ultimately advancement into leadership positions. Alongside that, the testing process will allow us to fit members together into efficient teams (and eventually into like-minded clusters of colonists who may over time bond into their own particular societal units). One of the great goals of the testing process is to create harmonious, efficient, productive teams that can work together with a minimum of internal strife toward maximum output.
Work challenges will prove aptitude, but will also give potential candidates the ever-present opportunity to “self exclude”; that is to say, they can quit. We’ll know who the true believers are by their ability to persevere in the face of extreme effort, “impossible” puzzles, mind-boggling deadlines, etc. Only the strong will survive, and we can’t take on the weak. We have to be able to count on every single member who makes the “final cut”, so we’re going to have to give everyone the opportunity to fail as well as succeed. Through failure we’ll find the quitters, the cry-babies, the detriments to our future. We’ll find the weak, and we’ll set them free (or more to the point, they’ll set themselves free) before they can bring us down.
What we don’t want to do is exclude anyone (to the extent this is possible) in the beginning. We’ll never uncover the “diamonds in the rough” if we automatically throw out too much ore at the start. We need to give people the chance to shine. The world already dismisses the “lower classes”, failing again and again to afford them the opportunity to prove themselves. We cannot fall into that pattern of thinking and behavior, or we’ll be no better than the tyrants we’re all trying to escape. Taskmasters we must be–there’s no avoiding that–but to the extent it is possible, we have to let the weak links fall from the chain on their own rather than forcing them out or dismissing them before we even give them a chance. This project–this colony–is for anyone willing to work for it. That is our mission and our promise, and we must fulfill it to be successful.
Translating It All To Cash
The real world works on money. We all know that. Our dream is built on the promise of effort from amazing people who unite to realize a common, fantastic goal–but the rest of the world takes cash, not promises. Without question, we’ll have to raise that cash.
The challenge of our financial model, other than finding and recruiting a suitable group of colonist-workers, is converting their efforts into cash. To this end, our plan is three-fold:
- Member-colonists will have the possibility of raising cash in the “real world” that they can pass through to the project. How this money is raised will be entirely up to the member in question, but we encourage the use of entrepreneurial efforts like side businesses. These “pass-through assignments” will provide early funding in small amounts to help us get off the ground.
- Research aimed at solving the challenges of colony construction and, later, living full-time on a floating colony platform, will expose opportunities to create (invent) new technologies and devices to make these things possible. The project (and eventually the colony) will develop and market these new answers as products and services that can be sold to the world at large. This will help pay the expenses of the living colony, but will also be the primary source of revenue to offset construction costs, etc.
- The technologies we discover, and the methods we employ, for everyday survival as colonists–literally, how we wind up feeding ourselves, creating power, etc.–will also be sold, either as inventions or as (excess) product from within the colony itself. This income will help to finance the living colony.
Because we are long on ideas and short on details, these elements of the financial model are the most open to ridicule and scorn. In the beginning, however, we simply can’t have real numbers with which to defend the feasibility of a project of this magnitude. We don’t even have anything to base such numbers on yet. This leaves us with two possibilities…
- We can conclude with the majority of the “normal” world that this simply can’t be done, or
- We can ignore the “rules” and do it anyway.
We cannot achieve the impossible without challenging the impossible. We cannot turn tail and run in the face of difficulty, even if that difficulty can only be met, in the beginning, with the phrase “I have no idea how we’re going to do this”. Greatness only comes from saying “this can’t be done” and then proceeding to find a way to do it.
“Most people think that faith means believing something; oftener it means trying something, giving it a chance to prove itself”
We will be laughed at, we will be told that this pie-in-the-sky dream isn’t possible, and we will be tempted from time to time to throw in the towel. Chances are very good that we would be completely justified in doing so.
But this is the Arca Oceanus Project. We literally live for this (at least in part). We have a plan, we just don’t have hard numbers.
“When you once get an idea in which you believe with all your heart, work it out.”
This is our plan. We’re going to make it work. We know where we’re going; we’ll worry about what path to take as we’re on the journey.
“If the people really set their minds on anything it is impossible to prevent their getting what they want.”
If you still haven’t figured out who these quotes belong to, here’s one more that should give it away. This man, this pioneer, was talking about his particular product–but what he said could easily apply to what we are doing. We too will find the simplest yet safest way to achieve what we’re aiming to do, while keep the costs as low as possible to allow the common man to afford what we have to offer, because what we’re truly offering is freedom, and every person on Earth should be able to enjoy that gift.
“I will build a motor car for the great multitude…constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise…so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one-and enjoy with his family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open spaces.”