A new CrowdFunding based Business Model

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”

― Richard Buckminster Fuller

Introducing the Consumer Sponsored Software Development Business Model (CSSD):

GNU Aerospace TestPilot seeks to utilize CrowdFunding, to fund the development and delivery of the “Next Generation” of flight simulation technology, as a web based service, 100% compatible with existing Microsoft Flight Simulator X scenery and add-on products content. TestPilot restores freedom of choice, and establishes a clear future path to enhanced features and functionality “beyond FSX”, which Microsoft denied with the cancellation of FSvNext (a.k.a. FS11/FSXI) and the closure of the ACES studio 3 years ago.

In the modern world of finance, fixated on the exploitation of their “muppet” customers, far too many innovative and disruptive products and services are denied funding by a lazy, bloated and noncompetitive government licensed and regulated monopoly.

Crowdfunding initiatives like Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have launched a “consumer led revolution” in the financing of innovative and disruptive product development.
Products that otherwise would not exist, having been denied funding by conventional means (Banks, Investors, Publishers) exist through a direct symbiotic relationship between developers and consumers.

By providing direct funding to teams of “independent” game developers, products such as Double Fine Adventure, which just raised $3.3 million dollars from 87,000 people, and Minecraft, which has sold over 5 million copies, exist where conventional funding was previously denied. By eliminating the publisher, and going to a direct sales model, the consumer cost of games has been significantly reduced, and resulted in an extraordinary level of quality and customer satisfaction.
http://en.wikipedia…._Fine_Adventure
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft

However, there have been a number of Crowdfunding projects launched which turn out to be an elaborate fraud, and have successfully raised funding only to completely disappear without a trace, threatening to strangulate this emerging threat to the conventional funding industry.

It is our opinion that the “purchase transaction model” represents the greatest threat to the potential long term success of Crowdfunding.

The practice of “Abandonware”, where a company halts further development and support of a product or service, has in the past, been the result of the business failure of a small company. Abandonware today, is a routine, widespread and mainstream practice undertaken by the largest and most successful of corporations such as Microsoft with billions of dollars in profits. As the source code is a closely held company secret, there is no possibility of competition emerging to offer a viable alternative, with the customer left with no choice but to accept the “new terms” often resulting in higher costs, and reduced functionality.

The Consumer Sponsored Software Development Business Model (CSSD) seeks to establish a “new model” of business which places the customer in a position of power, by offering the benefits of a symbiotic development of products through Crowdfunding, combined with continuous access to the products source code while under development, thereby eliminating the practice of Abandonware forever. If successful, this new business model will result in a practice of the development of Eternalware.

Instead of purchasing a license to a piece of software, as is the common practice, TestPilot, being a web based service requires a different approach to licensing, which emphasizes the purchase of “development hours”. Consumers can choose to purchase any amount of development hours, motivated by the amount of perceived value the existence of the completed service represents, in comparison with the lack of the service in the absence of development. To avoid the development of features and functionality which consumers do not value (and is the scourge of the traditional practice of “speculative software product development” and of consumer product survey research, where products are developed with consumer feedback and fail to find sufficient customers to purchase), consumers can choose to assign a specific task which their funds are to sponsor.

GNU Aerospace TestPilot restores freedom, however there is no such thing as a free lunch (or free beer).

When users first encounter the service, they need to “try it out” for no cost. There will be situations such as schools and other institutions for which the funders of the development of the service wish to sponsor their costs. There will always be users who will seek to abuse the system, and customers who fund the development costs have a privilege to penalize or ban those users. (parasitic free rider problem)

Those persons who have the most desire for the product or service will naturally have the highest level of motivation, to provide the funding, provide independent oversight, punish parasitic free riders, and look for alternative development teams when un-reconcilable situations arise in the management of a project. Project funders will be motivated to recruit others to participate in the funding activity. Service fees will be significantly higher for regular service customers than for customers who have purchased development hours.

Customers who fund the development of features shall:

1. Pay the company which is performing the development task by the hour.
A fixed development “hourly rate” for the project shall be established, and this will serve as the basis of assigning special recognition credits and privileges

2. Be provided will all information related to the funded project:
Project plans, milestone tracking, status reporting, management decisions, meeting records, expenses, emails, time tracking information.

3. Be provided with access to the products source code, as it is developed, with the source being released under a Free and Open Source license such as the GPL V3.
http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html

4. Receive credit in the product or services source code, website, and about screen.

5. Receive special identification in their customer profile for the amount of development hours purchased, and any specific features proposed and financially sponsored.

6. Be provided with a special privilege to ban/sponsor any non paying users on the service.
Usage statistics are available to all paying users of the service. Abusers of the free service are penalized by users who paid for the development of the service.
Free usage is envisioned for schools and other educational organizations and institutions.

7. Choose to sponsor a specific feature of the product or service
This is to ensure that only features that have paying customers are developed first.

Remaining funds not otherwise allocated will be spent to fill critical gaps in product features, which is a privilege assigned based on credit.

If for any reason significant gaps remain in the products development, and there are not funds nor sponsoring customers to complete the feature, the task will be contracted out
to another team to perform, on a bid process basis, with the expense spread into the overall customer service charge, from which the development funding customers are exempt.

8. Customers who fund development have a lower (or in some cases no) service charge than those regular service customers who did not participate.

9. Customers who fund development shall have the privilege to establish the service fees rate.

In addition, the company undertaking the development task or operating the service shall:

1. Limit Employee compensation to reasonable living expenses + a fixed amount for savings/retirement/vacation.

2. Commit any remaining development funds left unspent to the exclusive purpose of funding continued maintenance of the software.

3. Provide Customers with the ability to reward individual employees working on the project with a payment identified for the purpose of a bonus.

4. Impose a fee for customers making inquiries to cover the costs of preparing and delivering a response/proposal.
The purpose of which is to minimize external interruption in the day to day management of the project which can result in significant loss of productivity and
increase development costs.

5. Maintain access to the source code for customers who have purchased development hours.

6. Having completely exhausted a project’s funding by development costs, the source code for the project shall be released to the world, one year after having reached this condition.

The primary purpose of these rules is to ensure that the employees developing the product are accountable, and focued on producing a high quality product or service.

If customers detect issues with the development or management of the project, and make enquiries for further explanation, they must bear the additional costs involved in the inquiry.
Customers can choose not to provide further funding at any time. With full access rights to the source code, they can choose to seek to assemble a new team to complete the work.
This competition acts as a deterrent to abuse, and motivates the production of higher quality work.

A major issue of tension and stress in any project is recognition and reward of individual unique contributions. Employees and management are locked in an eternal struggle on this point. By focusing compensation on reasonable expenses, employees are not constantly distracted with efforts to “self promote” and undermine the performance of co-workers (blame) in order to game the system to their selfish advantage. When a task falls behind, it is in everyone’s best interest to correct it, otherwise there is a risk that the company and the employees will loose the project to a competitor.

Second Life, a 3D virtual reality service provided by Linden Labs found a solution for awarding bonuses and recognition that works by taking the decision out of the hands of the management and placing it with the employees. There is also potential for abuse with this scheme, and therefore we have altered it to allow the customer to decide who and how much to reward with a bonus at the end of a development phase.http://en.wikipedia….iki/Second_Life
Employees are prohibited from self promotional activities, and their identities are hidden from customers until the end of the development. (privacy/promotional)

When the product is complete, and is made available to the world as a service, its source code is also released to the world at the same time, to ensure that the company which operates the service lives by the same rules as those that existed during the development. This assures that the service has the lowest possible cost, and the highest level of customer focus on satisfaction, and serves as a check on abuse of regular service customers by development funding customers.

New TestPilot Forum on Reddit

New forum can be found here

http://www.reddit.com/r/TestPilot

AVSIM’s Tom Allensworth has censored the TestPilot initiative, by unilaterally removing the TestPilot Forum, and actively prohibiting any further discussion on AVSIM thru direct acts of deleting posts and locking threads.

When confronted with these actions, Tom Allensworth had the following to say.

Tom Allensworth
AVSIM Publisher
Root Admin
Local time: 04:36 AM
Location:Charlottesville, Virginia USA
Interests:AVSIM, of course!
Sent 15 April 2012 – 04:21 PM
jmangan, on 15 April 2012 – 04:09 PM, said:
Tom,

>>We are not going to let the FSX forum become a replacement or a platform for TestPilot. I am going to shut this down, and encourage everyone to go to the TestPilot forum >>(where ever it may be) and discuss that topic there.

Where is your journalistic integrity?

Please help me to understand how this is not clearly a case of censorship on your part?

You have yet again cut off a productive discussion, which threatens nothing.

This is not a government forum. There is no such thing as censorship here, as you know and agreed to when you joined these forums. Go find a forum elsewhere and post to your heart’s content. Point to a forum that I can refer our readers to, and I will be happy to provide them a link…
Tom Allensworth
Publisher, CEO, AVSIM Online

To which I replied:

Government censorship is not the only form. Ever heard of “news media censorship”?
Blogs and forums are considered to be “news media”, and are accredited as such when they exceed 100 members.

Also, AVSIM is accessible from the European Union, bringing it under EU jurisdiction.

Why are you choosing to act this way?

You are denying people with access to information.

That is the definition of censorship plain and simple.

Please point people to this link.

http://www.reddit.com/r/TestPilot

Thanks again for everything good you did for me in the past.

I am still grateful to you for this period of time!

Joe

Tom has failed to post the information which was provided to him immediately upon reciept.

AVSIM should now be avoided if you wish to show your displeasure with the ever increasing censorship which has recently been taking place.

Instead, let’s together build a new free and open community, to replace AVSIM.

The new forum can be found at Reddit as a Sub-Reddit.

http://www.reddit.com/r/TestPilot

I look forward to starting this new epic journey together, committed to bringing about a “new era” of free and open collaborative participatory exploration, thereby “making obsolete” the current era of tyranny by censors and monopolists.

GNU Aerospace, the Free World Citizen’s Air and Space Program

Joseph Mangan

Welcome to the GNUAerospace TestPilot subreddit

Welcome to the Free World Citizen’s Air and Space Program.

I personally invite you to become an active citizen, and play an integral part in this revolution to fundamentally change the world of flight simulation, in the establishment of an sustainable, free and open source, flight simulation platform. To revolutionize flight training, and to engage in the testing of advanced aerospace technologies and vehicles which this initiative shall make possible.

Freedom with responsibility and mutual respect:

We hold Freedom to be the highest of values, and recognize that with freedom comes equal responsibility, not to allow our acts to infringe the rights or freedoms of others.

Personal attacks SHALL NOT be tolerated, and shall be responded to with a warning. A second attack SHALL result in banishment from the forum.

BE SLOW TO ANGER

Postings in emails, blogs, and forums have launched many a conflict and controversy, where a person wrote on a subject with the “very best of intentions”, and their intentions were mis-interpreted. Be slow to anger, and never assume that what you have read was intended for harm. Test the poster’s intent thru dialog first.

We practice CITOKATE “Criticism Is The Only Known Antidote To Error” as a core principle.

Dr. David Brin, a famous science fiction author, is the originator of the term CITOKATE, and of the idea of the “Disputation Arena”

http://www.davidbrin.com/disputation.htm

Dr. Brin invented the Holocene chat http://htyp.org/Holocene_Chat which is a patented computer program to automate the process of Disputation Arenas.

Sadly a web based manifestation of this concept does not yet exist, however we seek to replicate the ideals thru a manual process and leveraging the features available made possible through this forum.

Conflict, argument and debate are normal to the process of advancement of societies and technologies, and are key to cooperative and competitive working relationships. These are only productive when all of the participants are aligned to a common cause, embracing of constructive criticism, and always acting with the best of intentions.

To insure that they do not become personal and destructive, the following serve as guidelines and background information

http://www.feveravenue.com/constructive-disagreement/

http://blog.createdebate.com/2008/04/07/writing-strong-arguments/

http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cognitive_biases

The community must hold ALL of it’s participants accountable to these principles, and identify any speech which violates constructive practices identified within. It is expected that any logical fallacies in postings shall be identified and the offending speech edited by the originator. Especially the moderators comments.

Human beings are highly skilled at finding patterns in observations and interactions with others. Our brains assign probabilities based on past experience, to interpret the world in which we operate. Often, our brains assign a high probability pattern match to an observation or interaction which is entirely false, and where a simpler pattern is a better match (occams razor).

We all operate with these highly flawed “false perceptions of reality” of others and most especially of ourselves, which serve as the framework of our own perceived reality. Throughout all of human history, the greatest tragedies and atrocities were carried out by people serving what they perceived to be service to the “highest of ideals” and with “the very best of intentions”.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

“For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman

You are your own worst enemy. It’s a well established fact. Self and mass delusion is the single greatest threat to human progress. Tragic mistakes are nearly all the direct result of self delusion. From the fatally flawed decisions of NASA management culture (normalization of deviance) as “common cause” for the destruction of both Space Shuttle’s Challenger and Columbia (exposed by Richard Feynman, Roger Boisjoly, Diane Vaughan), and the well publicized failures of markets, economies, banks, businesses, and governments both large and small.

The “wisdom of the crowd” many times is often greater that the “wisdom of the elites”. It is the isolated “delusional elites” in management, government, and education, shielded from criticism, and free of accountability which bring about widespread suffering and loss of life. Delusion leading to the destruction of wealth, careers, property, and even life itself is not punishable as a crime, as there is no established clear and knowing intent to defraud or to cause harm. “Delusion of the Crowd” (tragedy of the commons) is a key enabler to bring about widespread destruction in the submissive following of the edicts and established cultural norms of an isolated and delusional elite.

Nearly all evil is the result of an “unchallenged elite” operating with the “best of intentions” and believing it is serving a “noble cause” backed by a majority of submissive followers.

Embracing constructive criticism, holds us personally accountable to maintain a more accurate “model of truth” and “model of reality” which results in more successful cooperative and creative encounters, personal engagements, and better and more rationally formed decisions.

As an aid to healthy debate and argumentation, please use the “reputation voting” feature (lower right hand corner of postings) to up or down vote a forum posting which you believe to violate the principles of CITOKATE. State in a following posting in the same thread, a reference to the poster, a copy of the speech at issue, and that you took the action to upvote/downvote, and the reasons for doing so. Any speech committing a “logical fallacy” is especially to be challenged by any forum member, so that we may all operate in the light of truth and knowledge.http://www.paulgraham.com/disagree.html

TANSTAFL:

As free world citizens, we accept the fact that there is “No Such Thing As A Free Lunch” as famously stated by Robert Heinlein and Milton Friedman. We must all take an active role, and shoulder the responsibility and burdens together, to bring about the primary goal of this effort, the establishment of an sustainable, free and open source, flight simulation platform. Freedom to tinker, to learn, to create, to build, to share, to teach are our shared core values.

The process is invisioned to be very reminiscent of the community “Barn Raisings” in early American history.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising

Trust with Transparency:

We believe in “radical transparency”, meaning “no secrets”, no private side discussions, and no NDAs!

Many forums require users to sign their posts with their real names, as this tends to reduce the amount of trollish behavior of people hiding behind an anonymous pseudonym. In the spirit of transparency, we also require all postings to be signed, and will provide a warning, and then delete any further posts not in compliance with the rules. Anyone observing a violation of this rule is asked to use the “reputation voting” feature to down mod the offender.

Coanda Aerospace Software pledges to make all activities, discussions, proposals related to GNU Aerospace TestPilot, transparent.

Any commercial activities in which Coanda engages with 3rd parties shall be fully disclosed, and any financial proceeds shall be 100% reinvested in the development of TestPilot.

Key principles and practices, as well as detailed subtopics of TestPilot shall be “pinned”, and ultimately become separate subtopics in the future.

Please see the Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH blog, where you shall find a copy of the press release of this initiative.

http://coandaaero.wordpress.com/

I look forward to this new and exciting partnership and the shared experiences we will have on the journey.

Greetings and very best regards!

Joseph Mangan

Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH

Vienna, Austria

joseph.mangan@coandaaero.com

www.coandaaero.com

http://gnuaerospace.org/

http://at.linkedin.com/pub/joseph-mangan/40/633/75

http://www.coandaaero.com/

https://twitter.com/#%21/GNUAerospace

http://www.indiegogo.com/josephmangan

http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/11105953

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 16, 2012

VIENNA, AUSTRIA – March 16 -

“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
― Richard Buckminster Fuller

Today, Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH announces the launch of the GNU Aerospace initiative with the introduction of TestPilot.

The dawn of a “new model” of web browser based flight simulation declares the personal computer based flight simulation obsolete.

Fly amongst the “web computing clouds” anytime and anywhere in this revolutionary, massively parallel and distributed web browser based flight simulator. Participate in testing of “real world” next generation avionics systems software destined for use on actual aircraft. Learn how to fly with the vCFI, the virtual Certified Flight Instructor, and leave books, tutorials, manuals and videos behind for “deeply integrated” and “in context” training.

TestPilot is the response to an impassioned outcry of the personal computer based flight simulation community for a “next generation”, sustainable, free and open source flight simulation platform which allows both 3rd party commercial and freeware development. TestPilot restores freedom of consumer choice, and competition.

A firestorm of controversy surrounds Microsoft’s decision to directly exclude 3rd party developers from independently developing add-on enhancements for Microsoft Flight. In order to maintain monopoly control over the sales of add-on products, Microsoft has decided to restrict SDK access thru an exclusive sales agreement. Additional Scenery, Missions, and Aircraft are only available via purchase exclusively from the XBox Live website. Statements from the owners of both ORBX and PMDG regarding their independent experiences in negotiations with Microsoft, document extreme and unreasonable demands, were a condition to participate in the development and sale of Microsoft Flight Scenery and Aircraft content. Many are hopeful that Microsoft will eventually change its mind, and openly release the SDK. However upon reading the comments from ORBX and PMDG, this would essentially undermine Microsoft’s business model, so it seems likely that the SDK will never be made publicly available, nor under reasonable financial license terms.

http://forum.avsim.n…out-of-the-bag/
http://forum.avsim.n…ghts-on-flight/

History of TestPilot:
Originally developed in a research program funded by an airliner manufacturer, to fundamentally redesign the modern airliner cockpit and avionics systems, TestPilot was designed to allow “flight simulation enthusiasts” to test and verify the behavior and performance of the design before the new designs “first flight”. Critical to the success of TestPilot, was the architectural decision to design the new flight simulation engine core with deeply integrated training features which allow any aircraft, helicopter, or spacecraft modeled to have native training capabilities by default. Each and every aircraft will, as a result, have an integrated performance database which shall be utilized by the flight path optimization algorithms during training to identify the required actions to be performed by a student to recover the aircraft to a condition to accomplish the current training goal.

Avionics systems have become so complex that existing practices to perform testing, in order to achieve certification, are no longer capable of scaling to a level to comply with the regulatory requirements. If an aircraft manufacturer, for an entirely new “clean sheet” avionics system design, was required to fully comply with the software development and testing regulations, the total cost for this single activity alone would be 20 billion dollars. All inclusive costs for a new airliner typically are $11 billion dollars. The development and certification of a new avionics system would triple the development costs to over $30 billion dollars! Development costs for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380 of $11 billion dollars nearly resulted in bankruptcy for these firms. A development cost exceeding $30 billion dollars is an impossibility!

The solution is TestPilot:
Utilizing 200 million flight simulation enthusiasts from around the world to perform flight test activities, the strictest of airliner certification regulations,  known as level A, could be accomplished in as little as 5 hours of flight testing by each participant.

Level A compliance allows for 1 catastrophic avionics system failure (loss of aircraft, passengers and crew) in 1 billion operating hours for each airliner model. As an example, the total number of Boeing 787′s manufactured would be expected to fly a combined total of one billion operating hours over their 30 year lifespan.

The key to achieving this breakthrough is the ability to train the participants how to accomplish the specific flight test objective. With training capabilities deeply integrated into the simulation engine, the development of the vCFI, or virtual Certified Flight Instructor became a reality.

Coanda’s primary business activity has been in the development of so called “iron bird”, “engineering mock-up”, and “Human Factors” research simulators.

Coanda has retained all rights to the technology developed under the recently completed research program, and now seeks to harness the power of crowdfunding thru Kickstarter and IndieGoGo to provide this technology for broad use through its source code release under the Free Software Foundation’s GPL software license.

Innovative community crowdfunding business model:
By harnessing an innovative economic model, where customers purchase development hours, rather than software licenses, these same customers will have their names prominently registered in the credits for the software, and are provided with free online services for that major release edition.

This model emphasizes sustainability of the flight simulation community thru open source, and “community building” akin to the Amish practice of “Barn Raising”.
http://en.wikipedia….ki/Barn_raising

Everyone in the community contributes and plays a role. Either by paying for development hours, or thru service fees. We emphasize freedom and community. This is not “free as in beer” communities take investment of time, effort and capital to build.

To quote Heinlein and Milton Friedman “There’s no such thing as a free lunch”.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TANSTAAFL

“Funders” will have a choice as to which “reference aircraft” will be developed first. Boeing 787, Airbus A380, Airbus A350, or the Bombardier C-Series.

Design your own aircraft :
TestPilot contains all of the tools required to design and model a complete aircraft utilizing the very same technologies the aircraft manufacturers use. Initial aircraft design begins with NASA’s Vehicle Sketchpad (OpenVSP) and is refined to become a full 3D CAD/CAM Parametric B-rep solids based model with full support of DLR CPACS (Common Parametric Aircraft Configuration) aircraft standard taxonomy model. Thermodynamic Engine Modeling as well as electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems modeling. Finite Element Analysis to model wing and control surface displacement. Flight Dynamics and Aerodynamic models created with our “AeroCloud” distributed computing services which generate highly accurate Vortex Lattice, Euler, and Navier Stokes CFD (Computed Fluid Dynamics). Import and export of wind tunnel, flight derived, and computer generated Flight Dynamics and Aerodynamic models supporting industry standards for exchange, AIAA Flight Dynamics Model Exchange Standard AIAA-S-119-2011, and Eurocontrol BADA (Base of Aircraft Data).

Support for a wide variety of Scenery/Image Generators:

Choose which 3D scenery engine works best for your needs. One person’s “plausible world” is not plausible for another which requires navigation to ground based landmarks for flight training purposes. Planned scenery engine support: Boeing CIGI, Outerra, Google Earth, Google Earth Liquid Galaxy, Lockheed Martin Prepar3D, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, X-Plane, Flightgear, Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH LiDAR precision SVS/EVS.

A globally distributed peer to peer network provides flexibility in the creation/composition of a constellation of machines to replicate required flight test conditions integrating support for Air Traffic Control, and the orchestration of autonomous aircraft either with piloted or fully automated operation.

For the first time in history, consumers will have full access to the very same avionics software used on commercial airliners. Aircraft manufacturers and Avionics Systems Suppliers will have access to potentially billions of hours of flight testing performed by amateurs before the aircraft leaves the ground for its first actual flight test. Airlines will have access to millions of potential commercial pilot trainees.

Ideally this solution can also be applied to minimize risk and gain confidence for Google Driverless Cars, as well as spacecraft such as NASA’s Orion MPCV capsule, Boeing CST-100 Capsule, and SpaceX Dragon Capsules currently under development.

Contact: Joseph Mangan
CEO and founder
Coanda Aerospace Software GmbH
Vienna, Austria
joseph.mangan@coandaaero.com
Tel: +4368110231274

http://www.coandaaero.com/
http://gnuaerospace.org/
http://forum.avsim.net/forum/499-gnu-aerospace-testpilot-forum/
https://twitter.com/…#!/GNUAerospace
http://coandaaero.wordpress.com/
http://www.indiegogo.com/josephmangan
http://www.kickstarter.com/profile/11105953
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