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

Sam P. sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 18 07:21:31 EDT 2015

I just found this interesting powerpoint from a few years ago.  Slide 25 is
basically a summary of this discussion:


On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 7:16 AM Gonzalo Odiard <godiard at sugarlabs.org>

> 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
> kids,
> 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.
> Gonzalo
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