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[Freedombox-discuss] towards a business plan

Isn't this what the FreedomBox project is "supposed" to be doing?

1) Helping to find out by debate and discussion what things to include in
the "developer package"
2) Engaging Developers and others to help out
3) Engaging the business community to get it on the shelves so people can
use it
4) Get the word out about why people want it in the first place

Al Dunbar

> Speaking of hackathons:  I would like to
> try to assemble a team to design and build
> a particular software stack and freedombox
> product.    I'll start to describe the plan I have
> in mind here.   I'd be interested in hearing
> on or off list from people who think they
> can and want to contribute.
> One goal is to build a "freedombox 1.0" which
> doesn't have to do everything we are aiming at,
> but which is serious progress in that direction.
> The goal box is something I can give to my non-technical
> relatives, with a very brief explanation, that they
> then see a use for, plug in, use, and enjoy
> using.   They suggest to their friends that they
> might want one (or more) too.   (e.g., "Hey, mom,
> try this....")
> The box and its basic nature is such that -- well --
> let 1,000 small businesses bloom.   I would like
> to see 1,000 small businesses each sell a few
> hundred boxes and support those customers.  I worry
> about what happens if, instead, 3 or 4 businesses
> sell and support 100s of thousands of boxes.  I hope
> it is obvious why.
> No one or a few companies sells freedom.  Maybe
> only 3 firms or so initially make
> the hardware - that will change.   At retail,
> and for support ... I want 1,000 small businesses to
> bloom.  And this is a high priority
> I want those 1,000 small businesses to be the ones
> who - in a kind of federated way - maintain and extend
> the software for this box.
> If we get to that point -- abstract though it is -- I
> think that already freedombox will be a success.  It will
> be an irresistible force.  With 1,000 small businesses
> fighting and cooperating over what freedombox means --
> perhaps the effort can stay virtuous and keep improving
> in socially just and responsible ways.
> Which all sounds great on paper but I want to get more
> concrete.  So, here.  Let me put "Plan 0" on the table.
> I don't expect "Plan 0" to survive perfectly as it confronts
> reality -- but it is a place to start.
> Step 1:
> Let's pick 5 apps.   I suggest email mailbox hosting, chat,
> instant messaging, blogging and FB-ish "walls".
> When I tell the relatives "Here, plug this in and fire up
> your browser" -- and when they then ask "Uh, what's it do?" --
> this is the list of 5 answers: email mailbox, chat, messaging,
> etc.
> Got better ideas for the list?  Hold on a bit.   The list
> ain't fixed in stone.  Let's agree "roughly like that" and
> we'll nail it down after a team is assembled.
> Step 2(a) and 2(b) and 2(c):  The effort here forks in three
> directions that communicate and cooperate, but are distinct.
> Let's say that 2(a) is deep concentration on the user
> experience -- storyboarding, UX experiments, etc.  And
> let's say that 2(b) is integration and release management -
> actually giving all of us a prototype platform and eventually
> a release platform to run on as we hack.   And 2(c) hacks
> the stack for the five features in service of those two.
> I have more steps to suggest [see footnote] but let's keep
> this short and see where we are from there.
> Of the freedombox *foundation*, at this juncture, I want
> to express some hopes:
> Dear freedombox foundation:
> 1) Please swiftly get us some group deals on suitable
> developer kits.
> 2) Please engage with this "1,000 small businesses"
> notion and help to perfect it.
> Anyway, who is game?
> -t
> [footnote]  After picking 5 core apps that help
> give a freedombox answer to "social" we can
> boil that down to an analysis to find the right
> core protocols, data formats, and programming environments
> to focus on to make sure those 1,000 small businesses
> are managing a tight, robust, human-scale software
> stack.
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