Minutes:Meeting Minutes 20091006

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Meeting Minutes of 10-06-2009



  • 322 E. 4th St.
  • Royal Oak, MI


~16 people.

  • Members: Russ W, Ed P, Brad M, Ted H, Matt S, ... (too many.. sorry)
  • Guests: Victor, Michael, ... (two more, sorry I didn't catch your names)


  • 7:30pm start time
    • big meeting, big list
    • last big meeting for a while
    • meetings should typically be half an hour to an hour after this one
  • standard intro for new folks
  • introduce ourselves
  • other pre-meeting asides: tools, visitor policy, selling a product, expanding

Opening day

  • huge success
  • $148 from the money sucker (and some change, and some pretzels)
  • ~200 people walked through the door
  • interest from John Van Camp - wants to see an i3 in southwest Detroit
  • Mayor Ellison - "the hottest thing in Royal Oak!"

Standing rules

  • we need them and need to post them in the shop
  • bylaws are on the wiki, as a member you agree to these
  • standing rules are things that aren't legally in the bylaws; shop rules, what's expected, how we run the space, you agree to these as well
  • need 1-2 people to come up with the rules, give it to the directors, vote on it at the next meeting, then put it up
  • Nate and Ted volunteered, deadline next Tuesday

Guest waivers

  • Russ has a waiver
  • anyone want to review?
  • Nicole from PS1 gave us their waiver
  • vote to use this waiver: passed unanimously

Guest policies

  • not fully defined
  • some members have concerns
  • 1 member -> 1 guest, 2 members -> multiple guests
  • concern: 1 member 1 guest is okay, but... if anybody can come in.. too many guests (tools stolen, things broken)
  • three rules unanimously passed: 1 member 1 guest, 2 members multiple guests, members are responsible for anything their guests do
  • Ed proposes weekly open shop.. it's important for new people to feel free to come in off the street
    • Nate: we need a greeter, someone to shake hands, ask them their name, sign a form, guestbook
    • bar code idea.. we need a printer
    • Ed proposes this Friday at 7pm for the first open shop, we should set a recurring date/time, at least once a week
    • it will be a learning process, we'll know more after we've tried it out

Membership increase

  • Russ: when we took the space, we knew that we needed more members to break even
  • we still need new members
  • how far away are we? currently have 14-15 members, need 4 more members, 18 is the number to break even on costs per month
  • ultimate goal: 26 members for this space


  • how do we do membership?
  • right now it's open membership
  • concern: maybe we need to have a process, e.g. 30 day trial
  • Nate: until there's a problem, I suggest we wait
    • Brad: but what if the first problem is catastrophic?
  • don't want to impose a limit that new members must know an existing member, this excludes people who don't know anyone
  • scenarios: not super likely: everything gets stolen; more likely: new member invites 5 non-member buddies to drink in the space every night, someone starts sleeping on the couch every night, someone mooches some stuff, someone leaves a bunch of trash everywhere
  • suggestion: 10 visits (meetings, open shop, classes) as a guest before you become a member, 'little nate' - people who spend time here, know the members, want to be a part, then they need a member to nominate them for memebership
  • we need an 'Open' sign that shows people are in the building, twitter feed?
  • concern: membership policies seem closed off, once we have logs of who's in the building, webcams, etc. it won't be a problem
    • rebuttal: the more exclusive you make something, the more it's valued
  • idea: new members can't have guests for 1 month
  • anything we can agree on as a bare minimum?
    • concern from visitor: I don't have time to live here, it's a drive for me to come here, I don't know anyone here, I'm not part of the social network, I can only come when I have a purpose, but I don't have much of a purpose as a non-member..
    • response: no exclusivity, no insults associated, we just want a policy like 'you seem like a great guy, we want to see you more often, come spend more time with us to make sure you want to spend $100 with us'
  • adopting a rule:
    • option 1: attend 1 meeting - 2 votes
    • option 2: sponsored by 1 member - 6 votes
    • option 3: nominated by 1 member, seconded by another - 9 votes
    • options 1+2: 9 votes
    • option 4: voted in at a meeting (the little nate policy) - 11 votes - PASSED
    • develop a standard spiel for No votes, it's not a No vote, it's a "spend more time with us" vote

Reoccurring dues

  • lots of members want this
  • don't want to use paypal (fees)
  • can we do it through the bank?
  • Ed: it depends on your bank, but you can set up through your bill pay
  • do we need an address to do that?
  • can we receive mail here? Russ needs to look into it, this address is funky, we don't want checks coming here though
  • PO Box?

Shop duties

  • the things that have to be done
  • everyone needs to pick up after themselves, of course
  • but.. trash needs to be taken out, floors need to be mopped, bathroom needs to be cleaned, fridge needs to be stocked
  • ideas: 2 people, or rotating people, or 2 people per month, point system, no volunteering, it's mandatory (you can trade or swap spots e.g. if you're out of town)
  • whoever is currently in charge of a task gets the parking space?
  • need rules for the parking space, Russ's personal preference: no parking, it's biased towards people who can come early, and it's a pain to get things into the building if the drive is blocked
  • vote: 2 people per week, PASSED
  • first week: Russ and Ted

Safety sheets

  • need one put together ASAP
  • need to nominate someone
  • how to use X, hazardous materials, chemicals, safety glasses
  • Nate: can it be a section within the standing rules?
    • Russ: it can be either


  • divide up the work for running i3
  • Nick suggested a PR / web committee
  • establishment / abolishment of a committee happens at a meeting
  • beer drinking committee?
  • event scheduling, class committee
  • Russ: goal of classes: write a description, prerequisites, materials for meetings, times you're available, boom it's done
    • Eventbrite is the official schedule, lots of other spaces use it, you can use it to charge fees, you can embed it in your website, it can integrate with your facebook page
    • Nate and Russ are currently going to handle classes
    • Nate: fail loudly: if you can't do something, let everyone know so everyone can learn, hard to get your head around, swallow your pride, but it makes things much easier for next time
  • supplies committee (paper towels, toilet paper, soap, cleaning supplies, fridge stock)
    • how do we pay? pop sales might cover supplies
    • Swit: shirt sales can go towards it as well
    • Jamie and Ed volunteer
    • and take it easy on the paper towels, get a real towel!
  • tool management
  • wiki access
    • part of the web committee
    • Brad volunteered

Class ideas

  • put it on the wiki, send it out to the list
  • for the future: let's record classes and put them online!

Member project storage

  • going to be a huge debate
  • four pianos and four cupcake cars: no space
  • set a limit, if your size goes over the limit, it needs to move
  • if people are willing to give up space for a big project, that's fine
  • if you have something large to donate or bring in (arcade machine, huge robot), bring it up at a meeting
  • nobody should have to move things around to do their work
  • where will it go? shop floor? No. build shelves? Yes


  • three or more of one item: they need to go (*cough* oscilloscopes *cough*)
  • need shelves
  • if you have an idea / want to do something drastic (build shelves), bring it up at the meeting first
  • everyone has a right to project space, but there's no space right now :)

Google Groups access

  • currently the group is private
  • concern: the public want to get involved, read what's on there, send a message, ask a question
  • let's have a public group (for the public), and a private one for members, members must be on both, and don't crosspost
  • concern: throttle back the chitchat (30 responses of one line messages like "Me too."), take an extra second to think before you send, if it's a reply meant for one person, just reply to that person
  • use IRC for chatting

Tool inventory

  • this Thursday
  • ideas? read Nick's email to the group
  • unless you have issues, let Nick go ahead

External groups interest in using the space

  • two sides:
    • no, why should they get to use our space?
    • yes, let's get more people involved
  • let's try it with a few select groups
  • it will bring in a lot of new people
  • example 1: Wordpress usergroup
  • example 2: RepRap
  • suggestion: require 2 members to sponsor? (just like any other large group)
  • same rules as a class
  • second issue: how do we get those 2 people to show up? for any class, actually, even i3 classes
    • we need a helper for each class (man the projector / tech support, help keep an eye on things, etc.)


  • what happens when there's a class, and people want to use a noisy tool?
  • who takes precedence? (members always win)
  • need a calendar process

Shop security

  • security system (cameras, alarms, etc.)
  • there will be an email going out to the group
  • organize a committee


  • grace period, timing
  • by-laws are thirty days
  • concern: people can then have thirty days for free
  • suggestion: turn the key off on day one (someone can let you in if you just forgot to pay, if they're nice)
  • everyone's a grown up, the due date is known, the amount is known
  • agreed: no thirty day grace period
  • suggestion: collect dues at the end of the month (e.g. 4th tuesday), suspending access on the first of each month, this allows a small grace period
    • Russ: let's wait for the month of December if we want to change the due date
    • agreed: no change for now

Business discounts

  • if someone has a business, and the members of the business all want to join
  • can a company purchase memberships (discounted) for their employees?
  • Swit: Idea Foundry in Columbus does this, that's primarily how they're funded
  • not large companies of course (Ford), under a dozen people
  • benefits: more members, more consistent payment, more use during the day, sponsorships
  • suggestion: buy a pack of 3 memberships, then they can bring in their coworkers as a guests if they need to
  • short-circuit the membership process? (all Foo Company members get in without a vote)
  • companies would be liable for their employees
  • concern: why do companies want to do this? let's find out what they want first.. are they just individuals angling for a discount?
    • counterargument: assume good faith, they probably want in because those individuals might not have joined individually
  • what to do about people who want to run their business out of i3? that's a different situation
  • Swit will ask the Idea Foundry guys, look for other examples


  • if you need a key, see Russ
  • proposal for new meetings: board proposes A B C solutions, and those are what gets voted on
    • meetings are too long otherwise, too much battling, nobody wants a three hour meeting
    • but good suggestions still come up in meetings
    • break off indepth discussions to committee meetings

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