A marketing angle
openmoko at flemingwilliams.co.uk
Tue Nov 21 18:11:51 CET 2006
Robert Michel wrote:
> Salve David, Ben, *!
Hello Robert! Thanks for the thoughts.
> So the Neo1973 is a unique chance to have a big deveoper community :)
> And becouse it is so fantastic - I'm convinced that other people do
> like this plattform as well and it will become populare.
I agree that it's likely to become very popular with a limited market:
the developers. What I was trying to decide in my email was whether that
would be enough to guarantee future investment in the platform by FIC -
and if not, how likely the product was to make it to a larger market.
Over time, of course, the developers are likely to make interesting
enough applications to attract the larger market automatically. However,
when developers are scratching a personal itch (as many of these will
be) the initial result tends not to be easy enough to use for the mass
> When the first hundreds or thousands Neo1973 are in the hand of people
> like us, who like to develope,hack,portate,documentate.... :)))))))
> OpenMoko will have enough power to become a plattform for endusers as
> well. And then it could be sold like a PDA, a Linux distribution, or
> any other PC.
You're right that over time, of course, the developers are likely to
make interesting enough applications to attract the larger market
automatically. However, when developers are scratching a personal itch
(as many of these will be) the initial result tends not to be easy
enough to use for the mass market. Your analogy with a Linux
distribution is particularly apt here.
Perhaps one route to mass market would be the home interface setup -
which seems to be what the majority of suggestions have centred around
on this list. If Asterisk could be made simple enough to package into a
'black box' that consumers don't have to configure (in the same way
MythTV is beginning to be), it could be sold in a package with an
OpenMoko phone or two. That would bring some of the most impressive
benefits of OpenMoko to the mass market in an easy-to-use form.
> Today, it could be less book more video tutorial, but for the mass
> market documentation would be *very* usefull, to educate the customers
> to use the power of the smartphone....
> And make it easy with softwaresolutions *and* documention to understand,
> how it works and how they could use it.
Can you give an example of a complicated product that has managed to
reach the mass market by including a video tutorial? I'm not sure the
average phone user has the inclination to even watch the video, let
alone set their new product up in accordance with its instructions.
> Would you agree to concentrate first on building a developer community
> and think about "how to promote" the Neo1973 to the mass market, a
> little bit later?
I think both efforts need to happen in parallel. Yes, the developer
community definitely needs to be mobilised and enthused about this
(Sean's done a great job on this already) and your later suggestion
about collecting together information on AGPS, programming etc is a good
one. But the developers also need to be pointed in the right direction,
and I think now is the time to try and work out what direction that
might be. One emphasis, certainly, should be simplicity: people are so
used to their phones being simple that a move towards more complex
options would be more likely to scare than attract (although Gabriel's
email suggests a way around this). Reliability, too, is vital: "what
happens if I can't make an emergency call any more?". There, of course,
Linux has several advantages.
Does anyone have other suggested emphases? Then we can start narrowing
down possible applications!
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