Paul Boddie paul at
Thu Dec 20 19:13:01 EST 2012

On Thursday 20 December 2012 23:59:19 Werner Almesberger wrote:
> Paul Boddie wrote:
> > Particularly the reasoning that sounds like "I can't justify getting one
> > as well as a smartphone" is worth exploring.
> There may be a lot more untapped customer potential in the group that
> can afford it, does not need to ask for permission / knows how to
> bribe/seduce to get permission, and would at some point in time find
> the "toy" interesting.
> But ... they
> - don't realize that this "toy" could interest them,
> - haven't considered that kind of hobby yet, or
> - simply haven't heard of the thing at all.
> It may be easier to sway some - even if it's just a small porcentage
> of this large group - than to change the minds of those (few) who
> already contemplated a purchase but ended up deciding against it.
> Not that we should neglect them, but for ramping up a large enough
> group of subscribers/participants, they may not be the most promising
> choice. Besides, when the project grows and gains visibility, that
> may also affect their decisions.
> Now, how to make that "first contact" happen ?

I think that the perceived momentum of a project might be an issue. If the 
nagging doubts/voices about something being potentially superfluous ("it 
doesn't do anything that the latest Nexus can't do") can be suppressed by 
evidence of community activity and a sense of direction, then people can be 
persuaded to take part.

It can be a question of appealing to people's sense of optimism while also 
considering issues of how much of the burden each person takes upon themself. 
With the NanoNote, a lot of the basics have been covered, although one can 
argue that the ultimate experience isn't as great as it could be (and I 
really want to find the time to look into this myself), but with some devices 
newcomers must potentially worry about whether they will suddenly find 
themselves "flying the plane" or whether the plane will have to be abandoned 
on the ground because the knowledgeable people have long since moved on.

So an impression of an active, thriving community is essential to persuade 
people that their investment is worthwhile.

> > this can attract criticism from people
> > who think all solutions should be market-oriented transactions and who
> > equate anything else with "communism",
> Hah, are you saying that a political party of die-hard neocons would
> sneer at campaign donations or other contributions/donations ? :-)

I'm not saying that those kinds of people are logically (or morally) 
consistent. :-)

> > Are there 10000 units in existence?
> Nanonotes ? If I remember correctly, Wolfgang mentioned some months
> ago that about 1300 units have been sold. I think 2000 were produced
> in total. Not sure if more could still be made if there was sudden
> demand.

I think one has to look at the wider ecosystem such as the Dingoo devices, 
maybe the Letux netbook, and see what the scale of that particular broader 
platform is and whether the level of activity communicates the right thing to 
outsiders. Volume is possibly not the first way to get people developing for 
the NanoNote, mostly because the volume may have to come from other devices, 
and if they're not being made any more either then it would probably need 
substantial interest - perhaps at levels not attainable within such a small 
community - before anyone might commit to any new production of suitable 

But then again, people do speculative things all the time, and more 
experienced people would be better commentators about such matters than I am.

> > Even a small number of such people being able
> > to commit to open hardware work would make a huge difference, I think.
> Yes, there are several tasks and roles that benefit from people
> being able to make long-term commitments.

Agreed. If we could make this clearer and more explicit, maybe people would 
have a deeper understanding and be more interested in any initiative of this 


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