On Thu, 19 Feb 2009, Robert D. Fadel wrote:

On Feb 18, 2009 at 10:24 PM, John Watlington wrote:

I don't see how a non-profit can do this, as requires financing at
risk, and
staffing for uncertain demand.    Let me know when you have the capital.

Absolutely true and I'm not sure the capital would be enough. Its
difficult to imagine OLPC entering a retail channel, directly or
indirectly. Perhaps I have misunderstood the intent but thats what it
seems like when we talk about individuals buying small volumes, perhaps
simply to tinker with a cool machine.

In the immediate future I don't see overwhelming evidence that OLPC should
devote resources to satisfy every volume demand in every channel. The
outcry over discontinuing Change The World was far greater than the
willingness of people to put up money. Very often those willing to pay
were small-volume resellers.

so you say that people need to pony up capital for this, but then dismiss those who were doing so.

please pick one argument and stick with it.

OLPC is better off focused on its engineering, advocacy and implementation
efforts AND supporting accompanying networks of olpc-phile communities.
Running an effective developer program is fundamental to all the above.

if the systems aren't available, the advocacy will drop off.

there would be no implementation effort.

the engineering work has been completed, so no more effort is needed there.

the only cost left is support. a good chunk of that can be absorbed by those 'small volume resellers' you are talking about, a good chunk is dealt with on the mailing lists (in large part by volunteers), but there is some that will end up on the OLPC plate.

however, eliminating entire markets (with the advocates it would generate, the lessons that would be learned, and the wider experimentation that would happen) is a very high cost.

as someone who has paied for 6 of these machines (plus the 6 'give 1' machines), I am _very_ dissapointed to see this cut off. what's worse is the unofficial "we'll end this any second" without any formal announcement (even a week or so later).

David Lang
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