Re: Launching June 15:
From: Tiffany Lee Brown (
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 09:11:29 -0700 (PDT)

> On Jun 16, 2016, at 7:46 PM, Ann Zabaldo <zabaldo [at]> wrote:
>> On Jun 16, 2016, at 10:21 PM, Tiffany Lee Brown <magdalen23 [at]> 
>> wrote:
>> Why not make it so the same platform/with a differently branded app could be 
>> used for developers to start for-profit housing arrangements?
> Why would a developer or a group of developers do this unless they knew they 
> could make a profit?  What we lack is research and reliable industry figures 
> that current professionals are willing to share so as to draw other 
> professionals into the biz.  

More of that data would be great. But... Investors and, especially, real estate 
developers are often far less risk-averse than the average person. Many are 
drawn to the idea of building the future. They know the future doesn't already 
have a positive P/L sheet and that their potential ROI is TBD on a new venture. 
Show them a couple articles like this one and build a killer business proposal:

Connect with actual entrepreneurs and developers, possibly within current coho 
using communities. I'm not exactly a business guru, but I could sit down with 
someone and list at least a dozen ways to monetize tools that would also end up 
benefiting "the rest of us," e.g. the minority fringe of people genuinely 
interested in co-housing today, in its non-entrepreneurial state. 

I feel slimy saying it, but: the way to pitch community is to say, "Here is yet 
another way to get people to provide all the work for free while we collect the 
profit." How do Facebook and other social media companies work? They provide a 
conduit through which regular folks willingly make all the content for free. 
The right cohousing tools could enable a developer to make money by letting 
people run their own cohousing communities.

Cohousing could also promote entrepreneurial efforts, especially in states with 
easier land use laws than mine (Oregon). A for-profit retirement center built 
into and on the land with a cohousing development, for example, so that 
residents can age in place in community. Shouldn't that idea interest 
businesspeople in the retirement home business? Yeah, it should and it would. 
They'd either see it as competition or opportunity or both. My own pet hope: a 
cohousing community for artists, craft persons, makers, artisanal food and 
drink makers -- small batch entrepreneurs, with facilities and resources for 
work-at-home studios on the same site as our homes and community center. 

Anything anyone might ever want to do at our near one's home, or in community, 
on a piece of land, could be tweaked to add value, create stable revenue, and 
therefore attract interest beyond nonprofit community focused folks. I expect 
there would be problems, and value conflicts, but -- this is America. Here, 
unfortunately, things can only grow so much without cash...

I'll stop now. I never thought I'd be cheerleading heartless profiteering! :-p  
But seriously: especially among Millennials and other youngish Americans, there 
is a refreshingly earnest desire to combine moneymaking with doing what's right 
and making the world a proverbially better place. There's plenty of data on 
that, and plenty of interest in the business community.

- Tiffany in Oregon

>> The rationale in this case is to get venture capitalists and/or developers 
>> to put up the money to develop tools the rest of us need! I've spent most of 
>> my life in nonprofit, community projects. It does not behoove us to underpay 
>> our visionaries and workers, or to expect everything to be done on a 
>> volunteer basis --  this is still how I do many things, but I think it lends 
>> itself to burnout and limits community leadership and engagement to people 
>> who can afford to work for free. Not everyone has that luxury.
> I agree that we overwork our volunteers to death.   If cohousing is to grow, 
> it needs to provide people with an income so they can work in a field they 
> love full time and not “hobby” time.  
> However, I still don’t see developers putting up the money to develop tools 
> “the rest of use will use.”   First of all … who are “the rest of us?”  The 
> volunteer folks?  The folks that will  work to create one cohousinig 
> community they will live in but not another one?  How does that further the 
> movement beyond what is happening right now?   If cohousing is to really, 
> seriously take off … it needs a professional group of people who earn a 
> living at this.  Development is too big to do part time or with just 
> volunteers.   (And God Bless all the zillions of volunteers and volunteer 
> hours by paid professionals who have gotten us this far in the movement.  You 
> are Awesome!)
>> Tiffany
>> Sent from the far shores of a distant land
> Best --
> Ann Zabaldo
> Takoma Village Cohousing
> Washington, DC
> Principal, Cohousing Collaborative, LLC
> Falls Church, VA
> 202.546.4654
> My password is the last 5 digits of Pi …
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