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

Gonzalo Odiard godiard at sugarlabs.org
Wed Mar 18 07:47:09 EDT 2015

Thanks Sam. I never read that.
Have good points.


On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 8:21 AM, Sam P. <sam.parkinson3 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I just found this interesting powerpoint from a few years ago.  Slide 25
> is basically a summary of this discussion:
> https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnxtYXJrZXRsYWJzdWdhcnxneDo0Y2U3ODFjZDczMmU1Mjlh
> Thanks,
> Sam
> On Sun, Mar 15, 2015 at 7:16 AM Gonzalo Odiard <godiard at sugarlabs.org>
> wrote:
>> 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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Gonzalo Odiard

SugarLabs - Software for children learning
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