Reactions From Other People to News of OpenMoko

Wil Chung iamwil at
Thu Jan 25 19:29:16 CET 2007

> > Finally, by far the largest camp is the indifferent class.  Many
> > people are quick to ask, "Why would you want an open source phone?"
> > Answers of the, "So I know exactly what my phone is doing at all times
> > - no secrets," variety typically get you labeled paranoid.  Answers of
> > the, "Because I will be able to modify absolutely anything about it,"
> > yield further questions to which further answers like, "I don't know,
> > but *something*," are not enough.  And, there's always the, "Well, I'm
> > perfectly happy with what I have now," people.  My feeling is that
> > these people won't be convinced until there's considerable buzz from
> > many people who have actually tried OpenMoko and like some specific
> > feature about it.
> >
> > Has anyone else had a different variety of reactions?

That's about what I'd expect, I think.  As developers, we have skills to
create, so we are excited about possibilities, whereas your general user
can't create, and therefore doesn't care about possibilities.  They just
care that they can do whatever it is that they need to do, easily, quickly,
and a nice interface if they've got it.

Perhaps the angle that we should go for is that "open possibilities benefit
you."  Explain that Caller ID took so long to get to everyone cuz it was
closed.  If telephone networks were open, someone would have implemented it
much more quickly.  Use the wide range of internet web tools and apps as an
example.  Anyone can put together something and put it up, so other people
benefit also.  Without possibilities, there'd be no jib jab.  no youtube, no
myspace(for better or worse), no boing boing, no [insert web thingee], no
wikipedia, no flickr.  We geeks want the same possibilities on the phone, so
we can make other cool useful stuff for you to use.

"When geeks have open possibilities in their medium of choice, you get
useful stuff, if not funny stuff.  And when geeks can get artists in their
foray, you get beautiful stuff."

I guess that'd be my sell.

I'd imagine if you draw parallels to the internet, the issue of malware and
viruses inevitably crop up.  Just telling people "Linux is more secure"
probably doesn't alleviate fears.  I probably wouldn't know what to say.
Anyone wanna take that one?
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