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This is an overview. We will start with a tiny business that has a some reasonable chance of profitability. It will be small enough that a very small group of people with ordinary income can establish it without great hardship, and will not bankrupt us if it fails. The first set of tiles afloat will be expected to show a small profit in a few months. The business model is that of a gas station/convenience store in a tourist area. It will be located where there is significant commercial and recreational boating traffic.
The founders, other than a couple of proprietors, will keep the day job. Profits will be reinvested in more modules. When there is sufficient space and capital, the facility will diversify into more ambitious and profitable activities (eg Motel, Restaurant). Gradual, self-supporting expansion is the strategy.
The long term goal is a highly diversified enterprise involving several hundred people on several acres of space in international waters. Casino, restaurant, party space, and free port trade nexus are some potential activities.
We need (but don't require) some activity that provides products or services that parts of the mainland will come to depend upon, such as OTEC, wind, and solar power, desalinated water, or food. Compute power and data storage service will be a growth utility. In addition to anonymous services, also providing a conventional 'transparent' service will give access to a much larger, more conservative market. We can expect regulatory expenses to become nil, but other operating expensis to be higher than landside. We need some other ideas, and these highly speculative ones need pragmatic study, expansion, evaluation.
A more detailed timeline of this growth process is avalable. A formal business plan is under construction.