How to bring forward the community?

Gerald A geraldablists at
Sat Mar 3 14:07:41 CET 2012

On Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 8:03 AM, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
<hns at>wrote:

> Am 01.03.2012 um 13:28 schrieb Wolfgang Spraul:
> >> So what to use? Nothing to use...
> >
> > We should look for what comes after phones and tablets.
> > What's next?
> Next generation phones and tablets :)

As a consumer, it's a bit hard to distinguish between one generation and
the next, though. In the past, it was easier -- upgrades from LCD to mono
screens, from mono screens to color, from telephone keypads to qwerty.
It's harder lately to distinguish, at a quick glance, a "retina" display
from a regular one.

It is difficult to develop something totally new.
> (My standard methapher: each revolution looks
> like evolution if you have a sufficiently distant point
> of view).

I agree to a certain degree -- from a hardware point of view, at least.

But it's pretty clear that the iPhone and iPad were dramatic shifts for
smartphones and tablets.
The iPhone brought new energy and enthusiasm to the smartphone market.
There were a few big players already in this market, but Apple managed to
change the direction of the market.
The iPad brought tablets, which had languished for years, from being
ignored to something that many people knew something about.

Now, the hardware they used wasn't the greatest in each case -- it had and
has lots of limits. But they had amazing software, and a vision for the
"customer" of their device.
They didn't end up inventing a "new" device, per se, but they did end up
re-inventing it. To consumers, they are new devices, because they never saw
the clunky windows tablets or older smartphones.

For phones and tablets it means they will increase in
> screen resolution, increase in processing power and
> networking speed, increase in battery life, increase how
> easily they can be used.
> The last one is the most interesting since it includes
> both hardware and software.

One thing is clear: Until a device is commercially successful, it has no
chance to survive in the arms race that is commercial phone development.
Things change too fast and cost too much to bring out a new rev every X
Every hardware piece is a compromise, and I've been a close watcher on the
sidelines when FIC/OM launched their phones. It's harder with a phone,
because since almost everyone has one, everyone will have an idea about one.

So, where does that leave us? I think it's simple -- we have to compete, at
first, mostly in software. I held out lots of hope for this with the Neo
and the Freerunner, but they had basic issues that made them a bit
difficult to deal with.
I do think there are markets that are out there that are unserved and
underserved, where something with good software could flourish.

I'm still not convinced your business model is the best approach. While it
involves the least risk for all concerned, it feels to me like it's not
working well. I gave you some thoughts earlier, and you had good points why
your point of view was better. But, your current rallying point is to get
to 40% of your goal, and that means that 60% remains. Don't get me wrong, I
do hope your device gets built, and I intend to order when budget allows me
... but without some major donation, I'm not sure your timeline is feasible.

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