[Sugar-devel] [IAEP] Planning for the future (Samuel Greenfeld)

Gonzalo Odiard godiard at sugarlabs.org
Sat Mar 14 16:16:29 EDT 2015

Thanks Sameer, very good points,
a few comments/questions below

On Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 5:53 PM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu> wrote:

> Interesting thread. I'll reply to Lionel's post, but my reply is more
> of my own set of ideas and understanding.
> Putting on my business school researcher hat:
> 1) The eventual goal of this project should be to influence the
> adoption of Sugar across the world. A person's attitude, combined with
> subjective norms, forms his behavioral intention
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_reasoned_action). To
> influence adoption, we have to address the attitudes of the potential
> adopter, and the subjective norms. Should Sugar be a part of that
> ecosystem (such as a school's curriculum) or apart from it?
Do we have a option? I don't say the school is the only channel to reach
but is the more massive channel without doubt.

> 2) Role of marketing:  Most of what I've seen thus far is focused on
> the internal producer view of OLPC/Sugarlabs. This is natural, given
> that that's the world view we are most familiar with. The role of
> marketing is to take this internal view, and adapt its value to make
> it attractive to the consumer. If this adaptation fails, we end up
> with over-engineered products that the market rejects. This adaptation
> is largely dependent on addressing the perceptions of the consumer.
> This is one of the reasons why shiny products sell - we associate
> shiny with expensive, be it chrome polished plastic or iPads. At this
> point if you are saying to yourself "we don't care for marketing or
> consumer" you are sorely mistaken.
We need more marketing without doubt.

> 3) Vision and Mission are important for the project: Vision is an
> inspirational, directional, future state description. Mission is
> largely how we get there. Both should be referenced on the basis of a
> time frame. So, vision and mission for now + 5 years is a good target.
> These might appear cheesy, but FOSS projects are usually non-strategic
> by design, because we are all busy writing small bits and pieces,
> hoping someone will stitch it all together eventually. We "scratch our
> own itch" in a piecemeal fashion, by writing scripts for battery
> stats, frame icons, Journal data and such. FOSS projects strive for
> operational excellence. Then, we hope that all this gets weaved into a
> fabric that can be used by someone (kids). The same applies to Apache,
> Ubuntu, Drupal, Linux, etc. In all those cases, there is a foundation
> or association or company that puts resources (time and money) and
> provides strategic direction, because the project isn't designed to do
> so by itself. Apache Software Foundation, Canonical, Drupal
> Association, Linux Foundation play that important role (I am on the
> Board of Directors of the Drupal Association, and some of this
> thinking is from my observations there). Vision, Mission, Goals,
> Objectives etc. should come from somewhere for Sugar/olpc. For a while
> it came from OLPC, but right now, I don't see any of it in an
> organizational manner.
> 4) In the free and open source world, the consumer is also sometimes
> the producer. So, instead of treating the consumer as someone with
> limited feedback (as may be the case with Windows or MacOSX) the
> consumer can switch roles and become a producer (like Ignacio or
> SamP). http://www.oecd.org/sti/inno/37450155.pdf This can lead to a
> myopic view of the target population being only people like Ignacio or
> SamP. Should all kids open the hood to peek into Sugar and become
> developers like Ignacio and SamP? Can we get into schools where they
> have locked down Windows machines with no admin rights?
> 5) Sugar is not a product. Sugar is a project, that keeps evolving as
> time goes by. A product is when we take a snapshot and polish it with
> QC, QA and package it for delivery. OLPC's build for the XO platform
> is a product. Sugarizer is a product. Suagr is NOT a product. This is
> just like Fedora is NOT a product. It's a project. RHEL is a product.
> Or for that matter, take the Ubuntu phone. The phone delivered by BQ
> is a product that took Ubuntu 14.09 and made it RTM (release to
> manufacturer) and ran it through QC and QA and produced the phone with
> the polished stack on it. Customers buy products, while developers
> work with projects. It is imperative that we understand the difference
> and treat the two as different.
> I'm pretty sure Rangan Srikhanta has a strategy for
> OLPCAU/OneEducation. So does Rodrigo Arboleda for OLPC Inc. I think we
> (Sugarlabs+lowercase olpc) need a strategy going forward to address
> Vision, Mission, etc. We also need to operationally pick approaches
> (such as Sugar Web) to build for multiple platforms. Android,
> RaspberryPi, Ubuntu are prime targets. Low-hanging fruit. How do we
> build for Android, but also reuse it for RaspberryPi and Ubuntu? On
> Android, stuff should be in the Google Play Store. On Ubuntu, it
> should be a simple install via apt-get or in their Software Center
> (the current builds are horribly broken). On Rpi/Rpi2, build a
> completely workable version for the 5 million units out there. Heck,
> people should be able to buy a SD/microSD card on Amazon to run a full
> Sugar desktop on the Rpi! Way back, I had a chat with Mike Lee, and I
> even proposed a name for this - sweetie pi. Remember, marketing is
> key, and branding a huge part of it. Speaking of branding,
> Sugar/Sugarlabs has none. It is still a vestige of OLPC, which
> continues to enjoy a high brand status around the world (good, bad,
> it's all publicity).
> This may be a lot to digest, but unless we address of these issues,
> this project will go nowhere fast.
Our final users need a product, not a project. While I love have kids as
Ignacio and Sam joining the project, if we want reach million of kids,
we need assume 99,99% of them will not join the project,
and will be happy users. In the end we say Sugar is to learn,
no to earn to use a computer.If olpc is not available
to distribute that product we need find a way to do that.
Maybe we need a SugarLabs Foundation.
I agree 100% about the need of a strategy and update our vision and mission,
and I have tried in different ways to move that for many months,
but couldn't find a way to do that.

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