Okay as stated we have a new plan and it is as fair as we can be. I made three promises to the first 1000 founders, they were…
- There will only be 1000, it is a hard ceiling and won’t be raised
- Founders get first consideration in all things we do
- The founders price of the PDC is deeply discounted and we won’t sell it at this price again
We cannot break any of those promises. From day one I built TSP on integrity, stating you may not like what I say but you can trust me to keep to what I say. I have never wavered in that for 6 years, frankly I never have in my life, I believe that is a big part of why PermaEthos is the success that it is.
Frankly as you read on, please consider this phrase I have stated many times in the last two days,
I would rather have one hundred people angry with me for keeping my word than have even one angry with me for breaking it, because the one would be right.
That is how I and the other owners of PermaEthos live, everyday, not just when it is easy.
With that we only have two choices,
- Open the PDC but not the founders program and charge more for it with less perks
- Don’t let anyone else in at all right now
In the end those are our only two choices and the only two that keep our word. Keeping your word isn’t always easy but I believe it to always be the right thing to do.
We went with item one, here is why. We know without a shadow of a doubt that we can take 1500 students, we absolutely know that. We know that only at best 60% of students will submit a design within 90 days of our publishing of the last module. Nick and I know we can handle evals at that level and we know we can handle the Q&A. So there is no reason not to let more people take the PDC.
We also know that there are more than 500 people that want to, so we are raising the price significantly. This is so that it WILL SELL SLOWER and those that really want in, get in. The folks that come in on the second round of sales will NOT BE FOUNDERS, they will simply be part of the first class.
Said students will also qualify for discounts on future courses and other qualified products. We never for one second locked ourselves into only founders getting discounts, but the members of the second round of sales are not going to get first consideration, along with founders. They will get priority over the general public if it ever comes down to it. If a spot for something ever exists though where a founder and a non founder who are both members of the first class are in competition for it, we give the nod to the founder.
I believe this is the BEST compromise we can make. Later this week I will tell you why this is basically moot point though and should never be a problem. Here is the program in a nut shell…
- Paid 300 for the course or 3×115 in payments
- Will get a “PermaEthos Founding Member Certificate” this is not the PDC Cert but a Separate Certificate for simply being a founder.
- Their PDC Certificate (if they submit a design) will read, “Founding Member – Class 001” or something to that effect.
- Will receive first consideration over all others in any situation where spots are limited.
- Are going to be receiving some really cool extras only for founders we have yet to announce.
- Will get discounts on all courses and qualifying products.
First Class Members who are Not Founders
- Will pay 500 dollars for the PDC, when we open it for the Second Class sometime in 2015, it will likely be 700 or more, so this is still a discount and a damn good one.
- Will have “Member of Class 001” or similar on their PDC Certificate IF they submit a design.
- Will qualify for discounts. We think this is fair, and frankly it is a lot less of a fricken administrative headache for us if we do it this way.
- Will get first crack at class seats etc. over the general public but not before founders
No solution makes all happy when many are involved but I am not trying to make all happy, I am trying to be fair with everyone. Also this isn’t “Jack’s Decision” it is the PermaEthos Board and Owners Decision.
The ownership of PermaEthos is open record it is as follows
- Jack 35%
- Joe 35%
- Nick 10%
- Charlie 10%
- Kevin 10%
You will note that technically Joe and I could out vote Nick, Charlie and Kevin or that say Joe and Nick and Charlie could out vote say Kevin and I. We don’t run that way though. As TRUE partners we decided that in all major decisions we would need an unanimous vote. And folks that is what happened.
Why this Course is Worth a Lot More Than 500 Dollars Even as a Non Founder
I need to say something here before I continue. I am about to compare the coming PermaEthos PDC with Geoff Lawton’s PDC because I feel it is the only thing that even comes close to competing with us. Nothing though should be seen as attacking Geoff, he is my greatest teacher and mentor, that said, we set out to do better and I think we are doing so.
So again understand the 500 dollar price is still a deep discount, our target when the course goes into the second class is 750 dollars. Consider that Geoff’s course was 997 and I got your guys a 100 dollar discount on it or 897 for those that got in last time. Call that 150 more than our final price.
Here is what the PermaEthos PDC has Over Geoff’s
- Our course is in the field showing practical applications, not white board and power point
- Our course will be more balanced for people in temperate climates, we won’t spend much time on “tropics”
- Our course is being filmed and produced by a 20 year veteran of Hollywood Video Production
- Our certification will include Josiah, Nick and Myself as your instructors. We may not be Geoff but we are all certified by Geoff
- The Q&A will have two perspectives (Nick and Mine) vs. the one of the instructor. This is really a big deal.
- Our PDC is the first step into a entire series of courses that are going to be tailored to student and market demand.
- To be blunt our PDC funds the development of PermaCulture Farms and communities, not just the producers incomes. I want to be clear that isn’t a jab at Geoff, but it is true. We are using the majority of funds to build farms and programs for graduates, not as income for ourselves. Of the 5 of us Joe is the only one with a salary from the company and it is a paltry living wage of 25K a year!
I am not saying we are better than Geoff, just that we have some real advantages, the Q&A being one of the biggest. Consider that when you ask an instructor to explain something, you are asking the same person who already explained it that you didn’t “get it” from the first time. Think about that.
When you ask a question here you are going to get an answer from me or Nick Ferguson or in some cases both. This means you get a different view into the same situation, a different explanation, this makes it easier to understand.
In short we were always going to sell this course in the future for somewhere above the 700 dollar price. We designed it to be worth at least 1500 and we think it is. Likely Nick and I will end up producing hours of supplemental content in addition to the Q&A segments. Those won’t be in Hollywood video level but they will be HD and easy to see and understand.
Frankly no one right now, at this time can compete with what we are doing, we are going low on the price because you have to wait over a month for block one of the course and we want to reward those that step out with us.
Launch of the Second Round
I don’t want any butt hurt whining about not enough notice, today is May 25 and I am telling you right now that launch day and time is going to be Saturday May 31 at 8AM central time. The course will be open for 500 dollars, for one week (until 8AM the following Saturday) or until it sells out. There will be 500 spots available this time.
We have decided this will be open ONLY to MSB and BOF Premium Members, we figure if a 5 dollar a month membership keeps you out, you don’t really want in anyway. If anyone finds that unfair, I say it would be unfair to those who supported Joe and I as we both built what we have not to hold the line on that.
The Decision Here is Final
There have been requests to open it wide up, keep the price the same or get this raise the price a DOLLAR to get by on a technicality. Man that isn’t what this group is about, we are not going to hide behind stupid crap like, “it depends what your definition of is is”.
On the wide open request we just can’t. 1500 is a class size Joe, Nick and I are comfortable committing too, we know we can serve such a class well. People have asked for a cheaper price where you only get the videos and not the certification, etc. All such requests were heard and considered, not getting a yes to what you ask for doesn’t mean you were not heard.
We listened to all, we considered both majority and minority opinions. In the end within our judgement and integrity we did what we felt is
- Best for the company
- Best for the founders
- Best for all students in the first class
- Best for the staff at the farm
- Best for the future of permaculture
I know many second guess what leaders must do all the time, but I say to anyone that thinks they can do better, please do so, we need as much success in Permaculture as we can get. I am very genuine when I say that! If anyone does do it better that would make me very happy.
As for us though we are doing things the best way we know how, with the hand we have been dealt. One thing you will always know is we will keep our word and that we will also balance that with a people care ethic of doing what is right within the reality of what is required. For those of you supporting us on this journey you have my eternal gratitude.