Meeting Notes 2010-01-17

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  • Sub-optimial desk arrangement - lots of people have to sit without a desk
  • I count about 25 people initially, with 3-4 showing up and a few people leaving throughout the meeting


Summary of Decisions

  • We are called BrainSilo (capitalization?)
  • Membership tiers
  • Dues are $40/month/person (initially) - get on the mailing list, where payment instructions will be sent.


  • Nick starts the meeting at 3:25
  • 3:25 - 4:20 - introduction and discussion of names
  • 4:20 - 4:35-ish - recess, then final vote on name
  • 4:40 - 5:40 - membership, expenses, and dues, the building, etc.
  • 5:40 - hang out and talk about cool fun stuff


  • a good name and mission statement helps grab donors, explains what we do
  • Keywords: rain, root, silo, rose, splicing, ground, works, box
  • Start with modified consensus approach - almost every name got rejected
  • a few more rounds of voting, narrowed down to GraftWorks and BrainSilo
  • recess
  • final vote: GraftWorks 9 to BrainSilo 21

Organization and Membership

  • some discussion of legal stuff, board of directors, voting, consensus, etc.
    • there will be a board of directors
  • tiered membership
    • members - 24/7 access - voting rights - full involvement - bring guests
    • student membership - restricted access (time of day, e.g. because of curfews)
    • guests - suggested donation - like a jar next to the door - cannot bring other guests
  • board members not necessarily members of the organization
  • scholarships and discounts - based on need, and in exchange for work
  • when is a guest supposed to become a member? let's wait and see, and we can figure it out in a month or so
  • problems with members - revoking membership, eviction, as a last step
  • 5 board members?

Finances - Expenses and Dues

  • what are membership dues?
  • options / ideas
    • flat rate, such as $50 a month
    • tiered structure - $30/60, $40/60, $40/80 - pay the minimum and do work, do no work and pay the maximum, or something in between
    • task list - post tasks with dollar value - people sign up - concerns about monetizing chores
    • we voted and decided to start with a flat $40/month
  • note that everyone is expected to do some work
  • note that nick is currently covering expenses
  • in general, donations can't be used to cover dues - exceptions for big valuable stuff - evaluate case-by-case - if you want to donate something, you can find someone to cover your dues
  • collecting dues - paypal and google checkout - evil
  • monthly expenses
    • rent - $550 - covers all utilities
    • internet
      • currently $20/month - paid by dean
      • we need better internet - 100mbps - likely will be $50-100/month
      • may be able to get special rate if we host a node for ??
    • liability insurance - $100 - want advice with this
    • comes out to about $50/month/person
  • nick is about $1500 in the hole right now - he's not worried about it, but we should pay him back if we can
  • incorporation - $50 in state - $700 with IRS, or $400 with new program
  • we have leads on possible donors

The Building / The Space

  • about 850 square feet
  • possilibity of expanding to adjacent space
  • basement is abandoned - we can store stuff there - if you take stuff, just don't tell Nick - also, there is a dead cat down there
  • can do commercial projects in the space, but they do not get priority
  • can host workshops
  • we will have per-person door codes soon