The other problem with the straight proprietary commercial startup for us was a matter of choices. We wanted to do something that would assist in the development of a biofuels infrastructure in the Valley. A successful coop was already in place, which I had joined, and it seemed unnecessary and certainly divisive to duplicate that established effort. A straight commercial venture was underway as well, in fact there were a couple. None of them as yet were selling fuel to the general public, but Brad and I had a similar response regarding this as well.
We want to foster an open environment to help enable the biofuels stakeholders in the Valley to work together for their mutual success, and we believe there is a lot of common ground. Our goal is to have biofuels widely available in the Valley, and that broad mission gives us a lot of latitude when discussing these issues. There is no particular 'turf' we are trying to protect.
Our operating procedure is straight out of the Open Source software playbook: put something together and throw it out there, even if it isn't perfect, and see what kind of response we get. Like-minded folks can join in and participate at whatever level they feel comfortable, and by being open with everyone we hope to establish credibility with all the stakeholders working in this space: coop, commercial, educational, policy makers, what have you.