[Company] Happy New Year 2010

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at sharism.cc
Sat Jan 2 09:29:30 EST 2010

Happy New Year 2010!

Phew we made it into the next year and are still around! I want to thank
the many people that have helped push our project forward last year, from
technical people to documentation people to those that are following with
good feedback.
Thanks to all of you!
I learnt a lot from you and I think in fact many people have learnt from
each other in our little group...

Where are we now?

We have about 30 device samples with people, we have a somewhat usable
software image, 69 content pages in the wiki (in 3 languages with varying
depth and quality), 118 subscribers on this list.
We have _somewhat_ formulated our long-term goals as a project, although I
think it's not entirely clear yet and hopefully we can sort this out soon
and then leave it unchanged until the goals are reached...
We have made some progress in understanding neighboring projects such as
Arduino and Milkymist/FPGAs, and we have done some good groundwork on
the hardware side to prepare for future production runs and devices.

Where do we want to go?

Mostly: towards money!
First we need to focus on finishing the Ben NanoNote so it creates real
value for users. Then we need to tell our story, and create ways for our
distributors to make money.
We need that same money on the production side for new PCBs, components,
production runs, shipping costs, etc. Hardware is expensive, and a copyleft
hardware project like ours first and foremost needs to answer the question
"is it sustainable?" every day...
So I hope everybody understands there will be no free hardware from us.
At most we can loan stuff, but mostly it needs to be bought. We actually
have been amazingly fortunate - almost all people in our community have
paid for the hardware they have today, even if the prototypes were sometimes
in half-finished state. Thank you all very much!

How do we get there?

I can only speak for myself and once sales are starting my focus will shift
towards serving our customers and keeping them happy on one side, and feeding
any surplus money (no matter how small) back to our community to keep the
project going.
Of course I will also still support people that contribute to the project.
And keep learning and play with some new software and cool hacks on our

At the 26c3 conference in Berlin a few days ago, I got the impression
there are quite a few others as well that we can count on in 2010, so I'd
say let's just keep it up!

Happy New Year, Cheers,

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