[Marketing] [Sugar-devel] The future of Sugar on XO-1s

Sean DALY sdaly.be at gmail.com
Tue Apr 12 05:33:13 EDT 2016

Excellent analysis.

I think Sugar could have an impact in the US if it was extremely easy to
install and configure (or "connect to and use"), and teachers would get
behind it.


On Tue, Apr 12, 2016 at 11:22 AM, Tony Anderson <tony_anderson at usa.net>

> Of course, the question is what is our market? I think Sugar has no chance
> to impact the American education market. Chris Doerndorfer presented that
> point very effectively at the Malaysia summit noting that major requests
> for proposals by UNESCO, USAID, and others eliminated proposals of Sugar or
> XOs on technical grounds (e.g. proposal from non-qualifying origanization,
> insufficient capital to make escrow requirements and so on). Rabi
> Karmacharya noted that OLE Nepal could not qualify to bid on Nepal's
> request.
> Many schools in the US are adopting a BYD policy. I suspect that an XO
> with Sugar would not qualify as an acceptable device. Obviously, such a
> policy is impossible for community schools in the developing world.
> I believe our opportunity is to convince private philanthropic individuals
> and organizations to support specific deployments in specific countries. To
> do this
> we need a reliable source of hardware, a credible support organization
> (e.g. Red Hat, Moodle, ...), a proven track record of success in similar
> situations, as well as open software and content. This needs to be combined
> into a solid story to present to potential sponsors.
> I don't think it matters whether we have large numbers of computers
> running Sugar in the US or US private schools. We should, of course, have
> an ability to demonstrate to sponsors what we are offering.
> So a G1G1 needs to be positioned as primarily benefiting the Give side.
> Making half of the package deductible is helpful. Offering a Give2 option
> at full deductbility may work. Describing in detail, how the Give1 or 2
> laptops would be used is essential (a point ignored by OLPC).
> In the second G1G1, OLPC was introduced to basic business management. The
> manufacturer, not unreasonably. required payment for the laptops on
> delivery (to Amazon). The made all of the available funds illiquid and so
> OLPC was forced to riff many very valuable developers.
> Apparently no one at OLPC was familiar with inventory loans or managing
> cash flow.
> Crowd-sourcing makes clear that many Americans will put up cash for what
> they consider a worthy cause. This might be a way to mange a G1G1 or G2
> program. Any such program must pay serious attention to financing. For
> example, suppose the minimum build order is $2M. While those 10000 laptops
> are in inventory, they tie up the funds. When all of the laptops have been
> paid for and deployed, a new order can be placed. Better would be to order
> 20,000 units at $4M. Then when 10,000 have been deployed and paid for, a
> new order can be placed. However, this means at least $2M will be tied up
> in inventory.
> Tony
> On 04/09/2016 10:12 PM, Sean DALY wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 9, 2016 at 5:57 AM, Dave Crossland <dave at lab6.com> wrote:
>> Finding ten ritzy private primary schools in the US where the parents can
>> drop $400 in a hat shouldn't be too hard for a savvy sales person
> I'd like to think that's so, but it may well be more likely that parents
> would be more impressed with a tablet-based solution, or with spending that
> money on home equipment.
> Private schools definitely have more resources and more leeway in IT
> buying, but they also need to fit IT activity into a curriculum.
> It's possible a charity/social responsibility oriented approach could
> work, but it's also possible that a school's IT buyer would find XOs a
> tough sell compared to, say the Dell Latitude 13 education offer. And no
> need to pay the salesperson so well - we would need to hire (lots of) staff
> for the sales logistics at the same time.
> Models exist where a nonprofit org or foundation controls a business (e.g.
> Mozilla), which might be necessary in this scenario. However OLPC (and by
> extension Sugar in its ecosystem) happens to have an awful image problem.
> What would be the value proposition of our offer over the commercial
> offers, for large scale buyers to take the risk? The charity/solidarity
> aspect? Wouldn't OLPC rather want to manage such a project?
> I encourage big-picture thinking, perhaps more brainstorming is in order
> Sean
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