[Gta04-owner] Golden Delicious and Neo900

Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller hns at goldelico.com
Fri Jun 6 14:01:01 CEST 2014


Am 05.06.2014 um 17:45 schrieb Mario Barcala:

> Hi all:
> I'm very interested in free software, free hardware and to promote and
> acquire free hardware devices for years.


> I think Golden Delicious
> contribution to this "free environment" is awesome and I've been
> reading this list (and other ones about this topic) for months
> (although I didn't have any Golden Delicious device by now).

No problem. The list is open to anyone.

> I like GTA project so much and I was very excited with Neo900
> initiative, and Golden Delicious inside it (in some way)! I like your
> politics of trying to build a free hardware, inside European Union.
> That's great. You only need to go a bit further (with ecology) and try
> something like Fairphone (to manage all production chain). It would be
> a perfect combination for me: innovation + long live products +
> component replacement possibility + ecology + local production +
> respect to workers. Ok, I know I'm an idealist and we cannot get all
> together :) (by now ;)
> So, I'm sorry if it's a delicate question but I'm very surprised to
> see that Golden Delicious is going out Neo900 project. I love to see
> how relatively small hardware/software projects get joining their
> efforts to obtain improvements of any kind and I can't see the cons
> about this union. Can someone of Golden Delicious give me some hint
> about this decision? Maybe, is there a message in some forum yet?

Yes, the result was discussed here:


The general background was a (non-public) dispute around who is leading
the project ("the entrepreneur") and who is doing the design. I.e. who is
helping whom with which experiences. And it turned out we had a mismatch
between who is the trustee of the funds and who decides how and for
what it is spent. And, who is making promises and who is repsonsible
for delivering them.

This would have required a precise contract between GDC and Neo900 UG
defining roles, contributions, deliverables, limits of authority and payments,
but we did not come to an end with that, because some assumptions
and expectations turned out to be completely different on the individual
(professional, personal) background we all have.

The key issue which did make finding a solution really difficult was the
German VAT system and how we did interpret the payments ("pre-orders"
or "donations"). So simply writing single a cheque and transferring all
money to the Neo900 UG was not possible.

It was a mistake when starting the project that we did not discuss and
clearly define these roles beforehand. Therefore, it became more and
more a blocking point moving technical discussions and decisions into
the background. Bringing the whole project at risk.

So GDC stepped back from the project to initiate a (partial) funds transfer
without needing any contract between GDC and Neo900 UG and wasting
more time on trying to find a soultion. This wasting more time without progress
was the only emotional factor that you can read from the discussions...

Neo900 UG can of course ask GDC for consulting and contributing
experiences. But now, Neo900 UG is the only leader of the project
and has the responsibility to deliver its promises.

So GDC is not driving the project actively forwards any more (rather
concentrating on others...). But contributing - if asked.

This are now clear roles giving the project a (second) chance.

> I'll understand if you don't want to reply to this message. I know it
> is a very personal question, but I'm very interested about the decision
> of a highly respectfully and accessible company like you.

Such decisions are very complex and based on aspects like risk/reward,
time invested, personal goals, legal limitations etc. Same complexity
as squeezing new electronics into a given plastics case :) But very
different (and sometimes not well defined) building blocks.

Anyways, the personal parts in such decisions are how the participants
see their role, see problems, interpret legal rules, and which individual risks
they want to take. And finally how much time they want to invest before becoming
frustrated. People usually differ in such aspects and forming an organisation
that still works is a really challenging management task. Even the Romans
did know that it sometimes needs a "primus inter pares".

> Thank you and very good job!

I hope that we can eventually find you as an owner of devices created
by the OpenPhoenux community.


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