Leaving Openmoko and continuing with Openmoko

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at openmoko.org
Tue Jun 9 12:26:05 CEST 2009

Hi everybody,
today I wanted to make it official that I left my employed role at 
Openmoko Inc. two weeks ago. I worked as Sean's lead for all engineering 
activities for over 1.5 years, and have to say it was a hell of a ride!
Thanks a lot to Sean and all former and current Openmoko employees, as 
well as our community and customers, for giving me such a challenging 
and also rewarding environment to work in. It was an honor to work with 
all of you!

I will continue to work with Sean and Openmoko Inc. in an outsourcing role.

In parallel, me and other ex-Openmoko employees are trying to regroup 
outside of the company to add new flavors to the Openmoko family. Stay 
tuned for news as this unfolds, we will need your support.

The key breakthrough Openmoko achieved in my mind is to kickstart a 
collaborative way to develop consumer electronics. Sean is yet to thank 
enough for the groundbreaking and truly visionary entrepreneurial role 
he played in that.
When I joined Openmoko, I had never heard about Creative Commons. Now I 
am meeting with semiconductor companies lobbying them to publish more 
documentation under CC licenses. And I am blown away by Werner's 
gta02-core project which has all schematics and layout files under a 
Creative Commons ShareAlike license from day 1, and is using only Free 
Software tools.
If you look at today's best consumer products, they are the results of 
endless polishing by a tightly controlled group of people and companies. 
The results are amazing - Apple products come to my mind, Blackberry and 
Unfortunately as of today the end user experience of a Neo Freerunner is 
far away from that :-)
But that doesn't mean that the visionary role Openmoko is playing leads 
in the wrong direction. It just needs more time. As consumer electronics 
become more complex, for example interact more over radio interfaces, it 
will increasingly become harder for a tightly setup and controlled group 
to make great end user products. It will be slow and expensive.

Zoom forward and I can see how freely formed groups of companies and 
individuals collaborate in the Creative Commons ShareAlike way, on an 
equal playing field, to make products that are both better and cheaper 
for a particular user group than anything else out there.
We have a long way to go on this path, Openmoko the company as well as 
the community and new offspring companies need to stay together and keep 
the faith. You can count me in.
I am reachable and will stay active under my wolfgang at openmoko.org 
account, or my private account wspraul at q-ag.de.

Feel free to contact me for anything Openmoko or Freerunner related, 
ideas for new collaboratively developed products, etc.

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