[maemo-community] A business case for Maemo

From: Sebastian 'CrashandDie' Lauwers crashanddie at gmail.com
Date: Thu Oct 15 18:00:07 EEST 2009
Hi Randy,

Thanks for starting this thread. It's an idea I believe a lot of
people have been toying with for some time.

On Thu, Oct 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM, Randall Arnold <texrat at ovi.com> wrote:
> I started thinking about this before the Summit and it really gelled for me in Amsterdam, sharing excitement and energy with everyone there:
> There are so many unemployed and underemployed people in this community, and so much potential with Maemo.  Maybe it's time at least some of us consider creating a global, virtual cooperative with common goals and find some way to make a living at what we enjoy.
> While at Nokia I found myself driving to work every day (especially at the factory) thinking "I can't wait to get to work and get back on the project waiting for me there!".  As crazy as it sounds, I was constantly engaged while employed with them and despitre the occasional frustrations really, really loved working there.

I understand the feeling, as, I'm sure, a lot of others do.

> My current job inspires no such excitement... but being around you guys and experiencing the thrill of discovery with the N900 made me realize THAT is where I want to be.
> So... am I the only one thinking like this?  Is it "wrong" to want to wrap a career around Maemo device support?  And if it isn't, what value could a potential virtual team provide?

I don't think you are. I think a lot of people would love to be able
to have a career working on these devices, but like always, it's a
limited platform, with a limited quantity of resources, so not
everyone is going to be picked. Of course, this is for the scenario
where people would be working for Nokia directly, in one way or
another, which would suit them. How many of those are actually
possible? How many people could fill in a position, or how many new
positions could we create that would be in direct relation to what
they do in the community? Only a limited number, I'm afraid as well.

The main issue I see with "virtual team", is that a lot of people
don't work well in a "virtual" world. It's easy to get demotivated
(even easier than when you're in the same office day-in, day-out), and
it's just awful when coming to the human inane ability to get
side-tracked. I for one, and I'm sure other people are exactly the
same, if not the majority, hate to work from home. I think it's fine
for a day or two, or maybe even a week every couple of months, but
longer than that, and I start shaking like a stick, like a junkie in
need of his fix. My "humanity" fix. I'd hate to start hating Maemo, or
any work I'd be potentially doing for Maemo because I have to stay
home alone day-in, day-out.

So if we were to base something on Maemo, and try to make a living out
of it, my first point would be: get an office.

Again, this is something that has been toyed with for some time. I had
this discussion with a few people, quite plainly asking "Should we
have a Maemo office in London?" (replace with any part of the world
you want). Not for Nokia employees, or people who work on the tablets
professionally in any way or another, but just people who want to hack
and slash at the devices. People who enjoy coding and working, but
who'd prefer doing it in a place that is friendly, and healthy.
Doesn't require much. Enough desks to accomodate people, maybe a few
Linux-based terminals with scratchbox or whatever the flavour of the
month is pre-installed, and internet/wifi. I could also some of the
administrative stuff happen there. Officialise the Maemo Community
towards the Government, have a central location which could be used as
the "main address"? They're all ideas which tend to go into the same
direction. Why do they go into the same direction? Because they
generate the same questions:

People don't live off love and water, only our devices run off nearly
free electricity. What would the business model be? What kind of
remuneration would be provided? How do we select people who
(potentially) get employed? What projects are prioritised? What kind
of work would we do? Management? Supervision? Low-level programming?
All of the above? All of these come back to another pretty single
question: is this a community effort, or do we "become a division"?
Separate from the main tree, start our own route and grow our own
leaves, while still living on the same roots?

Loads of questions -- not to say they aren't interested -- which are
all very hard to answer without upsetting people.

question = ( to ) ? be : ! be;
      -- Wm. Shakespeare
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