[Gta04-owner] Invitation to indicate interest in next batch ofGTA04A5 boards

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Thu Apr 4 15:51:00 CEST 2013

Am 04.04.2013 um 14:36 schrieb Xavi Drudis Ferran:

>>> OK, so there is less of a barrier for producing new A4 boards, which is
>> at least good if the A5 is never produced.
>> I would say the barriers are the same - only slightly different.
> But can the GTA04A4 be manufactured at all ? I thought there are
> components that can't be sourced or replaced by pin compatible
> alternatives, so you either manufacture boards without populating
> components, or manufacture a different desing (no matter how similar). 
> I thought the GTA04A5 could be manufactured (if someone comes 
> with a truckload of money). 
> So the barrier for A4 is infinite and the other is lots of money ? 

For A4 it is also lots of money. It may be possible to get the missing components
from some chip broker at 5 times the original price.

> Or what am I misunderstanding ? 
>>> In total then, there are about €4000 in one-off costs for a
>> production run of a new design. I think it's eminently possible to raise
>> that through crowdfunding. Moreover, I don't think we're going to
>> determine, a priori, whether such a crowdfunding effort will be successful.
>> I think the only way to determine whether it will be successful is to do
>> it.
> Wait, why ? 
> I don't get crowdfunding much, but AFAIK it's not magic ant not charity 
> donations either. People who put there money get something for it. 
> So what will they get ? A phone ? or a motherboard for a phone ?
> Whatever it is it's going to cost a lot to manufacture, so it is going to
> be more or less equally difficult to get a expensive open phone sold
> than to get someone to participate in corwdfunding to get an open phone
> for a lot of money, no ? 
> Unless you what to crowdsource 4000 EUR in exchange of say, a photo
> of a phone, or your name in the manual, or some such. Which I suspect
> may be even harder, but if that's the idea I'd just ask for donations (already done).
> There's some assumption that people will put money in a project if it's
> crowdfunding that they don't put in if it is not ? 
> I've never visited a crowdfunding site searching for projects to put my money 
> in. If I've gone there it was following a link from some project I found somewhere,
> and once informed of the crowdfounding options I didn't go looking for other 
> projects there. 
> If it's a matter of confidence I still don't get it. Are people supposed to trust more
> a GD project on (say) kickstarter than a direct offer from GD ? If they don't trust
> GD they shouldn't thrust their project on kickstarter either. If they trust GD , then they
> still need to trust kickstarter. Even assuming that people know and trust more 
> kickstarter than GD, it does not help because to crowdfund they have to trust both Kickstarter
> and GD. 
> GTA04A4 was already done crowdfunding style. People paid, if there was enough 
> money they got their product, otherwise they got their money back. It wasn't done 
> by a capitalist puting down big funding, then designing, producing, stocking products
> ready for sale and then selling them in detail and earning more than the intial capital
> if all were sold or losing it all if none was sold. This sort of (loaned, reinvested, publically
> raised, it doesn't matter) venture capital is not the idea people have in a crowdfunding. 
> The idea in a crowdfunding is either some tangible return for some money or the 
> money back, never the possibility of losing the money.
> The only difference is the crowdfunding platform (GD themselves, kickstarter, verkami, whatever), 
> not the economics.  But the crowdfunding mechanics have already been tried, 
> and have produced a few hundred units, not any more. Even options to delay 
> payment were tried. 
> Or maybe I got crowdfunding all wrong ? 

I think this is a very good analysis of crowdfunding and GTA04 efforts.

Another "feature" of a crowdfunding platform is to make not well known projects
known to the public in a "big bang" (kick-start). But we (Openmoko, Openphoenux,
GTA04) are already well known because we do not run completely new activities.

According to my view, to be successful by crowdfunding, we need to "sell" some
new idea that is unique and not yet worked out. E.g. an Octocore LTE Phablet
(but that has already been rumoured to come from Samsung) and we are
not able to get the required technology for it into our hands.

-- hns

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