New Open Hardware company

Jon 'maddog' Hall maddog at
Tue Jul 21 16:25:21 CEST 2009

>#2 Not only do we 'announce' products that are not for sale, but in
>addition we have an open roadmap and design the products based on
>community feedback.

A comment on this:

Of course designing a product with as much input and feedback from your
community of customers is important.  But when I say "customers" here, I
speak in the broadest possible terms:

- developers
- end users
- Channels (VARs, Distributors, Resellers)

Wolfgang has announced several goals of Qi, a main goal being that of
"openness" and the support of Ogg formats.  This may be in conflict with
goals of his channels, to be able to support both Ogg and mp3, and
therefore reach a large enough marketplace to justify selling the

This may mean that the product sells in the tens of thousands instead of
the millions.  That may be fine as long as it meets the other goals of
Qi and the people that invest time and money in Qi, including
manufacturers and distributors.

Fortunately the mp3 issue (as a continued example) can be met other
ways.  Since the designs are open, the addition of an mp3 codec by a VAR
(and payment of that royalty in jurisdictions where it is required) is
something that could be done even without any effort by the open
community or Qi. But the issue has to be communicated and understood,
the solution has to be planned.  IMHO the creation of an add-on package
by Qi for mp3 and other royalty-bearing codecs would be something useful
for their customers, and would call attention to the fact that these
codecs are not free either as in Freedom nor as in Beer.

I have seen lots of people communicate congratulations to the new
company and I too wish them success.  Part of that congratulations
should be the honest appraisal of their plans so they meet their goals.

Part of that is helping them get feedback from the community of their
true customers, whoever those true customers are.

Warmest regards,


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