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Criteria for a good prize

Peter Diamandis discusses How to Design an X PRIZE.

Design goals

  • sea-bound -- stays out at sea indefinitely (no or rare docking)
  • longevity -- 100+ year lifespan
  • semi-stationary -- stays within roughly the same region of the sea
  • spacious -- lots of space per passenger, relative to boats
  • wave-resistant -- little wave motion under normal conditions; can survive rogue waves
  • higher passenger duty cycle -- most passengers expect to live on seasteads fulltime
  • multi-purpose -- designed to house all of the same businesses as exist on land (dentist office, grocery stores, etc.)
  • modular -- can combine with each other to form larger structures

Given those design goals, some of the criteria we might consider for a prize:

  • Cost - Can you build the seastead under $X dollars
  • Station keeping -- Can the seastead inside a circle of x-radius for y period of time?
  • Ease of construction -- Can a single person with a pickup struck and readily available tools build it?
  • Comfort -- Does the seastead bob no more than X when waves are height Y?
  • Safety -- Can the seastead tolerate waves of height X without excessive damage?
  • Modularity -- Can the seastead be easily combined with other seasteads to form a larger structure? Does it tile?
  • Spaciousness -- Does the seastead provide at least X sq feet of living space?

Non-design goals

Perhaps we should also think about explicitly what are _not_design criteria:

  • size - no max on size
  • weight - doesn't matter how much it weighs (although individual parts must be transportable by pickup)
  • speed - does have to move more than 5 mph
  • build-speed - doesn't matter how long it takes to build
  • does not have to be energy or food self-sufficient; food and fuel re-supplies are allowed. (Although perhaps we should make this a criteria for the prize, even though seasteads would not need to be self-sufficient).

Example Prizes