The Mars One Project will need to somehow synthesize water from the Martian atmosphere because there just isn’t enough water on Mars to support a colony of humans. This means that its strategy is all wrong. Rather than attempt to build a colony from scratch, it should send a swarm of unmanned drones that are programmed to build a lot of life-support systems including manufacturing capabilities. Manufacturing is a engine that drives settlement.
There’s a tremendous paradox in common manufacturing methods today that prevent someone from historically reasoning correctly about societal development, the feedback paradox. When someone wants to manufacture FPGA’s for computer production, one uses other types of computers today. No one makes computers from scratch anymore. However, I guarantee that the first documents ever published to describe how to make an electronic computer were typed on a type writer(Charles Peirce and Claude Shannon.) This means that true technological development often requires several layers of previous technological development in order to make manufacturing practical. Yes, countries can acquire cell-phone infrastructure without land-line infrastructure, but they cannot develop cell-phone infrastructure without the ability to either manufacture or purchase steel. Such difficulties in establishing the requisite vertical integration of manufacturing for Martian colonization ironically creates propitious circumstances for Lunar colonization.
That’s right, I think the Mars One Project can succeed still if it goes to the Moon first. Going to the Moon allows the astronauts/colonists to practice developing manufacturing first, and they would only be a few days away so supplies could come to bail out the settlers whenever they would get into trouble.