Will Nicholas Negroponte Ever Understand That Competition Isn't About Killing OLPC?

from the get-over-it dept

We've never quite understood Nicholas Negroponte's position when it comes to the $100 Laptop/OLPC/XO (whatever it's called these days). While the idea behind creating a super cheap, super durable useful computer for children in developing nations is good, Negroponte has always approached the idea as one where only he should be allowed to see that vision through. When other companies decided it might be a good idea and wanted to target that market themselves, Negroponte flipped out and started attacking them for trying to undermine his project.

Sorry, Nicholas, but competition isn't undermining.

In fact, competition is generally what drives all parties to be better at what they do, in order to fend off the competition. Yet, somehow, the UK's Times Online has bought into Negroponte's side of the story and written up an article bashing Microsoft and Intel for trying to "kill" the OLPC. The article is riddled with factual errors and opinion substituting as fact, but the worst is in the central point of the article. The author mistakes companies all aiming for the same market as a nefarious attempt to "kill off" Negroponte's pet project -- as if he has some universal right to the market that no one else can attempt to enter. It also brushes over some simple facts, like the one where many countries have looked at the OLPC and realized it doesn't really serve their needs just yet. That, if anything, should be even more reason why competition is necessary. It helps create better products that actually serve the needs of people in those markets, rather than just what Negroponte decides they must want in his top-down manner.

Filed Under: competition, execution, ideas, nicholas negroponte, olpc
Companies: amd, intel, microsoft, olpc


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  1. icon
    Ronald J Riley (profile), 12 Aug 2008 @ 6:06pm

    On The Issue Of Competition - We won - You lost!

    Mike,

    Think about how inventors have been the wild card in the Patent Deform fight.

    You and the Coalition for Patent Fairness & Piracy both promote Patent Reform. Inventors oppose it.

    We are competing with each other. The proponents of Patent Deform have pulled every underhanded trick in the book to stack the legislative deck. Hearing are stacked to promote the biggest property rights grab ever seen in the history of our great country.

    The proponents of Patent Deform are serial transnational infringers. Washed up tech companies who are no loner capable for producing breakthrough inventions. Insurance and banking industries are their partnering in patent theft crimes. Their claim to inventive fame are endless excuses to deny legitimate claims and ever larger and more outrageous fees.

    Collectively they have been spending several hundred million dollars a year promoting Patent Deform.

    We have once again kicked their ass on the legislative front.

    I told you before that we would kill Patent Deform. It has now died in two sessions of Congress. How did that happen?

    One of the biggest reasons is growing cooperation between organized labor and the inventor community. We are working to create new jobs and tax base while patent pirating transnational's ship jobs and tax base to low wage countries. We are working to fix USPTO problems such as cleaning up incompetent and corrupt management, seeing that examiners are given the tools they need to do their jobs, given reasonable amounts of time to examine patents based on their complexity (currently they get 20.5 hours regardless of complexity. Working to address classic workplace labor issues.

    We will work to see that transnational's idea of free trade, as in free of all responsibility, becomes fair and equitable trade.

    We will build businesses which are based on mutual fair and equitable profit, ethical business which treats employees fairly.

    We will not be milking everyone to support profit without responsibility. It is long past time that large corporations are held to the same standards which we each hold people which we interact with.

    I am a diehard capitalist, but one who believes in ethics and morality. I have had it with crooks in the banking, insurance, and any other business which violates basic ethical standards for their and only their profit.

    So Mike, how do you explain that inspire of all your posturing we won and your side lost?

    Ronald J. Riley,


    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

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