Price point plus sales to individuals

Edward Cherlin echerlin at
Sat Feb 28 15:45:20 EST 2009

On Wed, Feb 18, 2009 at 6:37 PM, Mitch Bradley <wmb at> wrote:
> Okay, so those of you who are keen on there being a way for individuals
> to buy XOs at $2xx dollars should place a volume order, set up a web
> site, and start raking in the dough.

Earth Treasury has wanted to do that for more than a year, although
"raking in the dough" was not part of the vision. It would be hard
work for a thin margin at the best. It has not been possible, for
several reasons.

o Initially, it was cash in advance with no delivery date. Sixty days
later, we would get a date within the next year. So delivery within
three months is a great improvement.

o We never got the same terms twice when we asked.

o We didn't have and couldn't get the financing.

o GiveMany/Save the World for orders of 100 or 1,000 units was cancelled.

I will now assume some fudge factors that can be replaced with real
numbers with some research. So we can say that we can order 10,000
units @ $200 and change, or $2 million+. There is a volunteer support
gang, which we assume we can work with. Amazon is willing to handle
fulfillment, in principle, if OLPC asks nicely, but only if we can
assure delivery of orders within a month. That means we have to place
our order at least two months before we can start selling.

I will also suppose that we can get firm terms so that we can present
a real plan to any potential funding source. Then it turns out that we
are able to begin the discussion with several possible sources, and we
have in fact started a discussion, and will start others.

This is not to say that we have a full business plan, and we certainly
don't have funding lined up, but we are in the range where we can
discuss the possibility. So if anybody wants to help write the details
of a business plan and some funding applications (commercial or

The plan also has to include setting up paid support services for
buyers to deal with necessary infrastructure, training, developing
teaching materials, and the like. We have started the Digital Textbook
project with various partners, and we have a good idea where we can
get the other partners needed.

> Obviously you guys know something about making a few bucks per machine
> that has eluded the OLPC organization, so go for it.  As the old canard
> says, put your money where you mouth is.

I'll have to see if I can get someone who actually has money to do
that. I'll let you know.

Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
And Children are my nation.
The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination. (Ed Cherlin)

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