[Olpc-open] Why is G1G1 program ending?

Seth Woodworth seth at isforinsects.com
Fri Dec 28 16:57:09 EST 2007

Comments in line:

On Dec 28, 2007 12:04 PM, Steve Holton <sph0lt0n at gmail.com> wrote:

> I must *strongly* recommend *against* ending the G1G1 program. Or at least
> replace it with some mechanism for maintaining white market availability of
> growth systems and spares.

I don't think that at the current pace (long lead times) and trying to catch
up on Distribution countries orders, that G1G1 has any chance of continuing
at the current time.  As someone suggested earlier, if G1G1 is going to
happen again, or machines are going to become available at another time,
OLPC should let this be known now.

I am working with three different non-profits in the US who would like to do
small scale classroom size implementations via G1G1.  But they can't get
funding together or the projects in place in time (November > December).
That isn't realistic for NP's in the US.

Implementations like this are really what we should be focusing on the in
US.  They are in a valuable position to provide implementation feedback and
grassroots cheer leading domestically.

The availability of hardware is the one of the last chokepoints which would
> allow an adversary to kill-off the OLPC mission and North American success.
> (The other is mission creep: changing the OLPC mission from one of
> developing an educational platform into one of competing in the North
> American laptop computer market.) And the adversaries know this.
> The market price point is proven.
> The community is proven.
> The infrastructure problems (a huge hurdle) for distribution channel,
> customer service, support, etc. have been largely worked through. (quite to
> my own disbelief)

With no small amount of help from you Steve.  Which should be noted.

The price point isn't too bad.  And it is providing machines for other
nations at a very fast pace.  Perhaps if an external company were to retail
the machines at a similar price point it might take the strain off of OLPC.
This company would want a margin of their own of course, which would take
away from children too.  But such is the cost of a well oiled machine.

The next chokepoint would be to drain the market of hardware through:
> - natural attrition of hardware failures.
> - tying-up the manufacturing facilities by offering lucrative contracts to
> Quanta to build something else.
> - market removal (buying-up systems offered on eBay, offering a trade-in
> allowance, etc).
> As long as OLPC can maintain the availability of spare parts and new
> systems for growth, both the XONA (XO North America, using the XO as a
> laptop computer) and the XOEE (XO Educational Endeavor) will grow.
> This could be accomplished:
> - short term:  make a committment to the availability of new systems and
> spares (price point is unimportant, enthusiasts being what they are) through
> an 'Official OLPC program'.
> - long term: multi-source hardware availability.

Agreed.  I want an extra screen to hack anyway.

> However, the hard part of building the infrastructure to ship 1 system to
> 1,000,000 different people has largely been built. Sunk cost at this point.

Logical fallacy.  Just because you've sunk a bunch of money into something,
if it sucks you should still go with what works better.

The structures are getting better.  But they aren't satisfying "Gimme
Cheap/free laptop now that works k thxs by" users.  Not that we're trying to
serve them, but *they* think that we are, and they are restless because of

> 3.) They need to stop G1G1 in the US and Canada so they can start to scale
> > up for Europe and Asia G1G1 sales.
> Europe and Asia deserve a chance to G1G1, too. (A mistake, IMHO, to try to
> exclude them from G1G1, but there may have been logistical considerations I
> don't understand) But if making them available in Europe comes at the cost
> of availability in North America, I'm going to be arranging to purchase my
> spares through GreyMarketEurope.

Many logisitical considerations.  Many many as I understand.  They *should*
be overcome sooner than later.  And I think that OLPC has dropped the ball
and explaining that fact to it's users.

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