Author Topic: (RFD) Early discussion about the commercial future/goals of the project  (Read 700 times)

Artur D'Assumpção

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(this thread continues discussion started on http://forum.sslmixed.com/index.php?topic=609)

Hi,

We are still studying the best way and possible commercial package options to sell/market this product. Despite that, one thing is certain, is that the root motivation for this project is the DIY nature of the SSLMixed community, being this also the reason behind several technical decisions we've had since day 0 and during the development of this project (ex: through-hole PCBs, Linux and open-source technologies, etc.).

Going for the DIY approach allows our power users to buy the computer in a kit format (there might be several kit options) and assemble it themselves. Since the computer is being designed in a modular fashion, it has also the advantage that the user might choose to scale its investment, allowing to grow the system gradually in time, instead of having to put 100% of the investment on day 1.

This approach, also cuts the assembling time on our side, allowing us to reduce costs radically and offer a very affordable product, which is something we believe our users will want very much! - We also considering of selling pre-assembled systems, at a premium (this is still being discussed) and we might also consider down the line an SMD option, for the pre-assembled systems.

One assurance (like a contract) we will be making to the community is that all developed technology belongs to it at some point. This means, that if we ever get bored and decide to stop doing this we will opensource and donate everything to the community, so no one will be left hanging in the future. Of course at this stage this is something that's not in our plans, on the contrary, it's just an insurance we want to give to the community, since we all know and lived in 1st hand experience, what it is to be left behind by a company without any support at all. This will not happen in this case, the SSLMixed community will be the nº1 go to for support, always! - Remember that our "slogan" is "from the community to the community!" ;)

Of course we will need to protect our investment (many thousands of man-hours) and for that reason there are many parts of the system which will not be opensource while it's in our hands. We are still deciding which, but hardware and firmware will be one of them for sure. This is what will allow us to protect our technology and investment against 3rd parties stealing, repackaging and reselling our product with other brand without our consent. That's something that could kill the project. I think this is something we all can relate and understand. Anyways, we don't want technologies based in secrets, so we'll always try to explain how and why we do things in a certain way, despite not giving out the factory plans that would only interest someone which would want to pursuit a manufacture goal. 

There's also another aspect we are still deciding is that we will eventually have to put a symbolic "pricetag" on the software + support of our clients. This has a very good reason, which is that we will eventually stop selling hardware boxes because consoles are limited (and they will NOT grow in number) but we'll still be left to maintain and develop the software into the future. We have to pay for this time, and the only way to do it is to find a way for the community/system owners to support this. We still don't know what's the best way to do it, but we might think that perhaps a yearly symbolic fee to help fund the project year by year could be a possible option. This is something I believe a user won't might to cash out (specially if it owns a business), and in compensation have access to regular updates, new features and remote support.

We will definitely put out this question to everyone before deciding on a model. We want this to be fair and transparent to everyone.


One thing I want to be clear and it is obvious already, we're not in this to get rich. But we still have to support and maintain the project viable if we want to be able to keep developing and maintain it through the future. The only way to do this is to do it in a commercially (fair) configuration. For this reason we've been very carefully managing early project developing costs so we can bring you the most affordable solution (without compromising the quality) by cutting and be very careful with early expenditures. This will allow us to have low developing costs and that will reflect on the final commercial price. To have a high quality solution, at a low price, something had to give, and that's the time it's taking us to develop it. ;)


Cheers,

Artur
« Last Edit: June 15, 2015, 09:57:10 AM by Artur D'Assumpção »

matt

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Hi Artur,

ya, good idea to put this in a thread of its own - thanks.

I can understand that it's all at an early development stage  - regaring the commercial aspects at least.

And I also know how much work it is to design and layout.
So, for me, it's totally understandable that you want to protect your work and, imho, you also deserve to get something back for the time you spent already as well as for maintaining and (further) developing the hard- and software.

We'll see what conclusions you end up with.

Thanks for giving a little more indepth information about our plans.

Cheers,
Matt