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The Order Of The Oryx

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For over two years now I've been participating in a weekly discussion group named the Order Of the Oryx (OOO). Its not the usual kitchen chit-chat, a self-help club, open-invite, or even a place for debate. Rather, we are a small group of hand-picked regular attendees that discuss a specific topic in the pursuit of truth (whatever that may be) for its own sake. We try to have discussions that are intentional and intellectual, and without the desire for victory. For more information, you can see what our group is modeled after: Benjamin Franklin's Junto. The discussion topics have ranged widely, and are usually fairly broad....

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Spring Break to the Lost Coast

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For Spring Break this year I road tripped up north the Lost Coast with Nikki and Chad in La Tortuga. We also took the opportunity to see a bunch of friends and family. Our first stop was in Montery to see Joey and his pup Roe. We rode bikes in the rain along the beaches, ate humongous sandwiches, made pasta, watched Austin Powers, and enjoyed Joey's quaint neighborhood. Next up was Tiburon to see Chad's family. They live in an awesome spot on the other side of Angel Island from San Francisco. We...

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1 Year in Review, in Quarterly Updates

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A little over a year ago I was just beginning to assemble the FarmBot team, was building the V1 hardware prototype, brainstorming what OpenFarm was slated to become, and newly hired at the SLO MakerSpace as the shop manager. While perusing the Open Source Ecology (OSE) wiki to see how FarmBot, OpenFarm, and OSE overlapped, I came across the logo for one of OSE's funders: the Shuttleworth Foundation. Curious, I clicked the link. What I ended up finding turned out to be the perfect organization that I needed to help me follow my dream of working on FarmBot and OpenFarm full-time. They funded...

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Reflections of the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship

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As part of my exit from the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship, I was asked for my feedback of the Foundation, its processes, and its communication. I feel compelled to share this here perhaps for future Fellows, but more so as a reflection for myself of what it was like to work with such an innovative, forward thinking, and yet somewhat young Foundation. Some of this feedback I can relate to my own businesses as well. I copied this nearly verbatim from my email: The Amazing The fellowship model is incredible. I feel wonderfully supported and encouraged by the other fellows, and inspired everyday by...

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La Tortuga

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One of my 2015 New Year's Resolutions is to Have More Adventures. So to facilitate this, I was thinking about buying a vehicle worthy of adventures. At first I was thinking something like a Honda Element, but then when Chad sent me a Craigslist link for a 1983 Toyota RV, I jumped on the opportunity. It was located out in Sea Canyon, was listed for only $2,000, and had a paltry 58,000 miles on it! A steal if I ever saw one. So, I ended up buying it! Her name is La Tortuga.   When we brought it home we grabbed all the housemates (most...

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Welcome to the Open-Source Future

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A common misconception I have heard when I tell people about the FarmBot Project is that being open-source rules out the possibility of making money. Plain and simple, that is absolutely not true. In my opinion, being open-source is the unique facet that is even allowing me to start a company and movement around FarmBot. There is no way I would have been able to attract a team or get the financial backing I needed by working in a proprietary manner - the barrier to entry would have been too high. Longer term than the startup phase, there are plenty of ways to monetize an...

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Thanks

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A week ago my friends, family, and a few others came together to surprise me with a birthday gift to bring back The Bike Arch. On the surface the gift is a bunch of money - $1,303 as of this post. But infinitely more important than that is the comments, social shares, campaign description, secret scheming, fliers, love, and the will that went into making this happen...

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Projects That Matter

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Last month I was invited by another Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow, Daniel Lombrana Gonzalez, to give a talk about my work at Medialab Prado's Madrid Urban Laboratory - 2nd Workshop and International Symposium. I was asked to not only talk about my work with the FarmBot Project and OpenFarm, but also my Beach Wheelchair Senior Project. And for good measure, I threw in a bit about the Bike Arch. My talk is titled: Project Development for Things That Matter. I have copied it below. You can also download the slide deck here. Intro [Intro Slide: Black Screen] Hi everyone, my name is Rory Aronson. I'm a...

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Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship Year 1 Application

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As the November 1 deadline approaches for applying/re-applying for the Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship, I am looking back on the application that I sent in nearly 1 year ago allowing me to start a fellowship back in March. What an amazing opportunity this has been for me so far (full post coming when the year is up in March of 2015), and I can't wait to submit my re-application by the end of this month - of which I will be posting openly here on the blog! In the spirit of living in the open, here is my application from last year...

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