[Marketing] Ideas / Plan

Brian bneil at rochester.rr.com
Fri Dec 30 21:16:39 CET 2011

On Fri, 30 Dec 2011 19:22:55 +0100
Ed Kapitein <ed at kapitein.org> wrote:

> On 12/30/2011 06:59 PM, Gerald A wrote:
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Dec 30, 2011 at 9:12 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
> > <hns at goldelico.com <mailto:hns at goldelico.com>> wrote:
> >
> >
> >     The other strategy is the one taken by Apple. They have a very
> > low marketing budget compared to other companies. And the media are
> >     still happy to report every small move at no cost...
> >
> >
> > ... which is because Apple is super secretive, so even "rumors"
> > become big news.
> >
> > While this is a great strategy, it becomes difficult to achieve if
> > you are trying to have everything "open".
> >
> > What I think is lost in all of this is the question: Who is the
> > intended customer?
> >
> > I've seen some people talk about linux geeks, etc etc. However, at
> > least for the first rev of the GTA04,
> > it's _hardware_ geeks, and hardcore ones at that, which is the
> > focus.
> >
> > There are lots of unix-heads that would love a phone that is
> > "free-er" then Android or Apple let you be.
> > But having to buy a phone, then cannibalize it with another kit you
> > buy? It's definitely outside the
> > mainstream.
> >
> > Now, it's not that I don't want this project to succeed. I think
> > it's a great cause -- I was one of the early
> > GTA01 (neo) buyers.
> >
> > For me, I don't have time right now to assemble a Freerunner and a
> > GTA04 to get a working phone
> > "with possibilities". I want the completed package, then end result.
> > The neo was shipped with the slogan
> > "some assembly required", which gave you the right idea. I thought
> > that it just needed a good software
> > stack to make things great. (I still do).
> >
> > What might work is having people invest, rather then "buy"
> > something. That's something I could wrap
> > my head around. "Make the open phone happen -- Invest now". Don't
> > make it complicated or expensive.
> > "$10 in one 'block'" kind of thing. Maybe 40 blocks would allow the
> > "investor" to see a completed phone,
> > if one was to ever be produced. Make the risks clear -- the "open
> > phone" might never come to market,
> > but if we get 5000 blocks sold, we then have the muscle to negotiate
> > with the big boys.
> >
> > The issue here is what is in it for the "little guy", and I'd be a
> > bit fuzzy. 40 blocks gets a phone, but
> > what if I buy 2? Do I get the use of a phone for a week? :P I also
> > don't know the legal side of calling
> > it an "investment" (rather then a donation or a purchase). But this
> > would be simpler to "market", and
> > would have better funding potential then selling the kit.
> >
> > As an aside -- if I have extra cash, I might be willing to buy a kit
> > or two -- but they would either end up
> > as donations to others, or as a dust collector. So it's not that I'm
> > not willing to put money into it. But 
> > I also realize that one or two more kits won't make this happen in
> > isolation.
> >
> > Thanks
> My thoughts too, set up a kind of micro credit, where people can lent
> money, lets say 100 euro, and  with that money build the phones.
> Once the phones are made, more developers can develop different
> aspects of the phone and people will see the GTA04 become more mature.
> I think success stories with video clips on youtube will convince more
> people to buy a GTA04 then good stories on paper.
> And the microcreditters can either get their money back once all
> phones are sold, or can get a 110 euro discount when they buy a GTA04.
> Just my thoughts..
> Kind regards,
> Ed
> PS
> i guess you must be Dutch to come up with a micro credit plan in
> west-europe ;-)

Perhaps Kickstarter[1] would be an option here. It's a crowdsource
funded site where creative projects of many kinds, including open
hardware[2], can get the funding needed to keep them alive. I'm not
suggesting it's a panacea for all the hurdles involved but there are
quite a few success stories.

I think the OM community probably has an edge in competing for funding
due to it's age and the fact that the new hardware already exists. It
would be nice to see at the very least a 'hardware hacker kit' with the
basics as suggested here by Neal:

> I suspect that people who are buying a GTA04 at this stage are not
> looking to use it as a phone immediately--they probably want to hack
> on it.  These people don't need a phone case.  But, they do need an
> LCD to get the experience.  My proposal would be to create a hackers
> package: a GTA04 board, LCD and a big bulky case that could be placed
> next to a workstation.  Even better would be if there is a commitment
> to provide a case once it is ready (do you have a time frame for
> this?). 

Eventually the project could graduate to a fully complete phone with a
case based upon the old one or ideally a new case with a better LCD
and qwerty keyboard.



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