Sean's Aim...

Justyn Butler justynbutler+openmoko at
Mon Jan 22 00:55:16 CET 2007

I agree that something, anything, that will help me justify upgrading my
phone every six months is needed. In my case I particularly feel the need
for 3G but I want to get building right now, on v1.

I'd personally settle for a minor discount on the next version for so called
"early adopters". But then I don't know what profit margin FIC is selling
these things at.


On 21/01/07, Steve Grevemeyer <seg at> wrote:
> > It would be nice to know if Sean's aim is
> > 1. to satisfy his and our need for open source toys like Neo
> > or
> > 2. to earn money like almost everybody on this planet while exploiting
> geeks like us to achieve his goal :-)
> >
> > I bet the second will prove as true...
> >
> > Milan
> The great thing about a free and open platform is that these two aims
> are NOT mutually exclusive!
> Frankly, I can't wait for one of these things -- and I hope that Sean
> and FIC make so much money they get compared to Microsoft!
> It costs a ton of money to design, test, and build hardware.  It costs
> even MORE for software. :)
> The open approach dramatically reduces this cost, improves the product,
> and increases the overall profitability to the manufacturer. And just
> WAIT until the as-yet-unimagined killer app shows up!
> Anyone who thinks these devices are going to be cheap needs to wake up.
> (I'll avoid the banal "free as in beer" vs "free as in speech"
> converstation) What these devices need to be is "affordable".  $350 w/
> accessories?  That is actually CHEAP.  My Treo cost more then that
> base, then I had to buy accessories!
> The one idea I did see in the last couple of days that I think NEED to
> get some serious attention is that of an upgrade path for developers.
> I have zero problem with the cost of the device or its capabilities for
> Rev1.  The old "Don't worry, be crappy" philosophy is perfect. That and
> "churn, baby, churn".  Upgrade the unit continuously.
> The problem is that it gets REALLY expensive to try to keep up.  Need a
> way to recycle the units.
> I'll throw out the following (going to need asbestos underwear for the
> flames THIS will generate):
> a) a formal developers program. Maybe modeled on the M$ partner
> program.  A small yearly fee and formal registration.  Not that
> developers are riff-raff or anything but motivation is a huge portion
> of this kind of development.
> b) Formal developers get first crack at new hardware.  This concept is
> already being espoused -- I just think that it will need to be
> formalized at some point.
> c) An Upgrade path to
> facilitate continued development.  Basically, when the new version
> comes out I send the old one back along with a "reasonable" upgrade fee
> and I get the new model.
> Benefits to the Developer:
> - access to the newest, best hardware
> - preservation of investment $
> - credit and recognition within the community
> Benefits to FIC:
> - information on active developers
> - targeted audience for feedback/evaluation.  I like open forums but
> sometime you
> need things a bit more focused.   - Beta-test system!  Both for FIC and
> for the community in general.
> Of course, I'll get the obvious "what about all the developers that get
> excluded since they don't/won't/can't spend the money".
> The advantage of a formal program is that it is very easy to create an
> "informal" program.  FIC/Some Vendor/Somebody can easily "sponsor" a
> developer.  I.e. Somebody buys one of these units and shows they they
> rock, someone can step up and help them out.  I've already seen stuff
> about "getting units in the hand of select developers"...
> The single hardest think in open source development is "keeping the eye
> on the ball".  Everyone has their own pet thing, and ensuring that the
> overall project is not derailed by a single aspect is incredibly hard.
> I think the recent thread regarding WiFi is an excellent example.
> The communities biggest challenge will be getting applications done and
> fielded at the best possible rate. "Someone" is going to have to take a
> lead role and try to identify the applications that have the biggest
> need from the myriad of great ideas.  A little focus goes a long way in
> getting things DONE.
> Well, I've babbled enough for now.  :)
> -seg
> Steve Grevemeyer
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