[maemo-users] Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

From: Mark wolfmane at gmail.com
Date: Fri Jun 13 23:44:01 EEST 2008
On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 2:02 PM, Theodore Tso <tytso at mit.edu> wrote:
> On Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 01:01:51PM -0600, Mark wrote:
>> Nokia has the resources to develop its own chips, which it could
>> easily keep open. That would solve the problems for everybody (meaning
>> consumers, developers and Nokia).
> Many companies can *afford* to build and design new chips from
> scratch, yes --- but unfortunately companies are not charities.  The
> question is can you create a credible business plan where a single
> company (and I don't care whether it is Nokia, Lenovoa, Dell, or
> anyone else) or maybe a consortium of companies, produces a new
> multi-function wireless chip that does 3G, Wifi, and everything else,
> and at the very least breaks even compared with the cost of buying
> that same component from Broadcom, or whatever supplier they might
> happen to have.

Wow, you've swallowed that one hook, line and sinker! Way to pass on
the propaganda.

What you're talking about is "outsourcing", which contrary to popular
misconception is NOT cheaper than doing things in-house. EVER. What
outsourcing allows unethical management to do is to hide some of the
costs elsewhere, and have fewer employees to answer to.

> Remember, the mobile business is a highly competitive one, and if it
> costs an extra $20 per handset, that company will be hugely
> disadvantaged when they try to get carriers to pick up their phones
> (at least in the US market, where 99% of cell phones are sold through
> carriers).

Again with the myth that it's cheaper to buy somebody else's product
than to manufacture your own. How can you possibly believe that it's
possible for one company to manufacture a given product for less, when
they all have the same resources at their disposal? How gullible can
you be?

> And if you think someone is going to put down a huge capital
> investment just to create an open chipset for the relatively small
> internet tablet market, and do it in a way that won't lose vast
> amounts of money, you're *really* smoking something pretty good.

Who said anything about creating only for the internet tablet market?
The same chips would work very nicely in phones and other devices. Not
to mention the fact that they could then sell the chips to other
manufacturers that don't want to or are too small to manufacture their

>> But they're not doing it out of fear
>> of backlash from the closed community. Heaven help the company that
>> sticks its neck out and breaks the industry wide open for *real*
>> innovation...
> I don't think it has anything to do with that at all.  It's about a
> creating valid business plan where it at least breaks even, especially
> since the number of people that would actually pay extra for open
> device drivers is very small.  I happen to be one of them, but I
> *know* that I am in the minority.

Again with the propaganda. How could open source *possibly* be more
expensive? Especially when there's an *UNPAID* community helping to
develop it? The only time it's more expensive is in the current
situation where one company would have to pay another for rights to
work with open source drivers for closed hardware. That is irrelevant
to a situation where the company itself is producing both the hardware
and the software.

> It's just like in the airline business, where people will kvetch about
> comfort, and lack of hot food in economy class, but where time and
> time again, it has been proven that when it comes down to deciding
> whether to fly with airline X or airline Y, the vast majority of
> customers overwhelmingly go with whatever is cheapest.

...and how could having an unpaid army of open source developers not
be cheapest?

> If you think you're so smart, and can figure a way to make money while
> "breaking the industry wide open", I can certainly introduce you to a
> few VC's (and VC's are really good at shredding six business plans
> before breakfast --- well, at least during multiple breakfast meetings.  :-)
>                                               - Ted

...and VCs in today's corporations are really good at destroying their
own companies...


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