Wednesday, January 16, 2008

"Rough consensus and running code"

I think that Eric's open source biodiesel post really nailed the spirit of what we're trying to do. Along these same lines, a phrase from the Internet development community that I love is "rough consensus and running code." I think our approach will have a strong emphasis on "running code" -- that is, we'll focus on practical results, even if imperfect. I think we can measure success in tangible ways: e.g., I will be very happy the day that I can ditch my Prius and buy a diesel, knowing that I have a reliable, high-quality supply of locally-produced biodiesel available to put in the tank (I'm too mechanically inept to be a successful homebrewer, but I would happily be a customer of a co-op or commercial venture that sold biodiesel). If we can do something to help facilitate this result, I'll be thrilled.

I think one of the most immediate practical results of this effort that we can offer is a careful assessment of the state of biofuels in the Valley. Even something as simple of the list of Arizona biofuels entities listed in the right navbar of this page can be useful, I hope -- I know that many of these entities were not aware of others, for example. We're in the midst of reaching out and trying to talk to everyone we can who is active in this space, and we'll document our thoughts on this site.

Another key short term goal is to hold an informal summit or workshop where we get key Valley stakeholders together to discuss promoting a more robust biodiesel infrastructure in the region. Planning is underway for such a summit -- watch this space for more detail soon.

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