[Community] ... (Organisation)

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Tue Jun 3 10:27:29 CEST 2014


Hi,

Am 02.06.2014 um 23:37 schrieb wonderphone at posteo.de:

> Hi all,
> 
> Am 01.06.2014 22:11 schrieb Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller:
>> Well, the key factor for speeding up all this is more demand for
>> specific devices
>> as we currently see. The statistics currently say differently.
>> Approx. 30 preorders
>> for GTA04A5 and ~370 for a Neo900 device. And this is the result of 6 months.
> 
> The GTA04 platform has the potential to sell enough devices to match the Fairphone success (50k devices) or even let their sales look small. My greater fear than the one of never selling such a number of phones is the one that "we" are not selling them, i. e. Goldelico does not produce them and the rest of the community is ignored completely.

It is the general startup problem: great idea, great potential, no money to produce devices for stock. This needs an investor or a group of micro-investors really devoted to build something really different from the mainstream. I guess Fairphone was able to attract some of the mobile network operator brands as investors because they apparently want to camouflage as being "fair".

But I don't think Kickstarter or Indiegogo are the right approach because they are not for building a strong community that persists. They are for tapping one that already exists.

> Once it becomes apparent that GTA04A5 or Neo900 are successful, a soft-spoken but hard-nosed manufacturer can fork the hardware development and offer the devices, say, 20% cheaper.

Usually they don't. Because they get enough blueprints and reference designs from the big chip manufacturers (Samsung, MediaTek, RokChip, Intel), so that they don't look for community designed devices to copy them. Even if they are completely open. Rather, that is a drawback for them because they have to care about open source licences and don't get a design around the latest and greatest, but closed chips...

> That will put extra pressure on the quantities and prices of the community manufacturers. The community itself is replaced by a bunch of kids that "like" the devices on Facebook. They have a say in which color they want their devices in but nothing more. The monolithic (and also opaque) manufacturer will add some features to his software distribution that add convenience for the users and also valuable user information to the manufacturers databases.
> 
> Yes, Goldelico has made the community and is the strongest player in it. The openness that you, Nikolaus, have created is amazing. But the openness can be a weakness when it is not complemented by a well-organized community. That is why I am asking all these nerdy questions. I believe we need mechanisms in the community that make sure it grows because of its principles, stays always close to its ideals, and rewards those who have contributed in the past.

Exactly. The community is the success factor. The devices can be adapted to the needs, which also will change over the time. Like Linux is developing from release to release, but the community stays.

BR,
Nikolaus

> 
> Brgrds,
> Oliver
> 
>> Big companies are producing and shipping these quantities in less than 1 minute.
>> In other words: the products are not attractive for the masses. Even
>> the masses of
>> open source developers you can meet at FOSDEM.
>> What can we do about that?
>>> @ Nikolaus, dos, jOERG: How do you see the relationship of Goldelico and Neo900 UG within the OpenPhoenux community?
>> I can only speak for Goldelico:
>> * Goldelico has founded this OpenPhoenux community (see history [1])
>> * and has supported it financially (e.g. by providing server space,
>>   presenting the community at events like FOSDEM or LinuxTag)
>> * Goldelico is seeing itself as a member of the community - side to
>>   side with other developers - contributing the best it can to the benefit
>>   of all. E.g. developing devices, having them produced and making
>>   them available (shop)
>> * Goldelico is listening to ideas discussed on the mailing list to decide
>>   for new products Goldelico wants to offer. So this list is sort of a
>>   user (and potential user) forum.
>> * Goldelico is helping (amongst others) to get the yearly OpenPhoenux
>>   Hard- and Software Workshop organised: http://www.ohsw.org
>>> Is there already anything scheduled that you want to do yourselves and do not want other guys from the community to mix with? Of course, the community has other things to do before, but what would you think if the community opened a shop that sells GTA04 devices?
>> What would that be good for? The community member Goldelico
>> already offers the GTA04 devices for sales
>> http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04A5
>> and asks for donations:
>> http://shop.goldelico.com/wiki.php?page=GTA04%3ADonation
>> But of course there is plenty of room to increase the demand for GTA04 devices.
>> The key issue is to address reach new potential users. And find out
>> what they need, what the want, why they take something different
>> why they don't participate here...
>>> What would you think if the community managed to agree on a priority list of operating systems
>> I think this is not a good idea since it is contrary to the current
>> approach of providing
>> devices that support multiple OS (which is quite unique).
>> By giving one of them some preference, this would run the risk to
>> optimise hardware
>> for a specific OS and making trouble to others. OpenPhoenux devices
>> have the target
>> to support as many OS as possible. Contrary to those throw-away devices of
>> ${MANUFACTURER}.
>> One of the key messages (second line of left column) of
>> http://www.gta04.org says:
>> "Runs Debian, SHR, QtMoko and whatever free and open distribution you like."
>> We should add Replicant there as well.
>>> and used its funds to support programmers to go in that direction?
>> Do you mean something like this?
>> http://projects.goldelico.com/p/openphoenux/page/PaidDeveloper/
>> BTW: some people did just recently give funds to further develop the kernel
>> and replicant. So there is already a little financing of activities,
>> but it could
>> be much more!
>>> What if the community becomes demanding about the design of the devices, e. g. if people wanted /this/ module-something instead of another one?
>> Hm. This requires some mechanism to do arbitration since there is never
>> not enough money to pay professionals to do it in quick time.
>> Let's say it also this way: demanding something from somebody in an
>> open source community is difficult and usually fails.
>> So my approach to this should be: people who want something differently
>> should discuss their dreams here on the list. And those who feel more capable
>> of making dreams come true can comment on ideas t find ways to get them
>> really real.
>>>> Momentum is important in
>>>> these matters. I am happy to advise on business or marketing
>>>> strategies if the project is headed in that direction. What is the
>>>> development timeline? What still needs to be done technically?
>>> To keep track of these questions easily and continuously an enhanced website would be helpful.
>> That is what the Wiki is for:
>> http://projects.goldelico.com/p/openphoenux/doc/
>> Please feel free to create/maintain new pages with interesting content.
>> BR,
>> Nikolaus
>> [1]: http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/News/
>> [2]: http://projects.goldelico.com/p/gta04-main/page/Events/
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> 
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