FreeRunner delayed a further 6 months?!?!??

Lally Singh lally.singh at
Wed Mar 19 00:58:44 CET 2008

OM's unusual in the sense that they're asking us to do three things:
1. Invest $400-600 in them.
2. Use their device in such a personal way -- a cell phone is as much
a part of my daily setup as my shoes or wrist watch.
3. Develop on it, in our usually too-rare spare time, unpaid.

In exchange, they promise openness.  And so far, where the product's
concerned, I think they've held that part of the bargain.

But, they've been really failing at expectations management.  We are
paying in 3 big ways here, so we are still customers.  For the same
reason why any other customer gets real tired of hearing "It'll be
done any time now," it's tiring to hear it from OM.

No open-source project has ever worked well by treating its users as
ungrateful leeches.  Which is what I'm hearing from some of this
community -- it's a great way to poison the well and *ruin* it for

When someone says "this should get fixed" the *last* response to give
is "fix it yourself."  That's how you lose users, who could have
become contributors.  It's how you *kill* open source projects.  As
they're unfunded, the only capital an open source project has its
users.  The criticism is valuable in and of itself.  IMHO the best
response for it is "please file a bug report."  They can do that, and
they're getting involved in the community.  And later, someone else
who wants to contribute has a nice place to look for what to do.  Two
birds, one stone.

As for Openmoko, please respect what we're putting into this venture.
Without us, OM's just a raw piece of hardware with a marginal software
stack, more expensive and less functional (in usable terms) than your
off-the-shelf iPhone.  The community is 90% of the value of your
product, remember to spend some time working on it!!

If you're not sure how, read up on some Guy Kawasaki.

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