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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Arnold Kempler, 5 Sep 2008 @ 10:27am

    Ronald J. Riley Sued for Harrassing Internet Bloggers

    Mike,

    I thought you might find this interesting:

    September 05, 2008

    Dozier Internet Law: Ronald J. Riley and Inventored.org Sued

    Dozier Internet Law has filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court of the County of Henrico, Virginia against Ronald J. Riley and a total of eleven of his businesses and fictitious names. In response to recent legal action by this law firm against Riley, he is attempting to convince the blogosphere that this lawsuit is an attack on his free speech rights. Just the opposite is true. Ronald J. Riley's misconduct includes his attacking bloggers and blog and forum moderators with threats of getting IP addresses of anonymous bloggers and then tracking them down. Ronald J. Riley is not at all what he seems to be.

    The Dozier Internet Law lawsuit resulted from a year long investigation of Ronald J. Riley and took us from interviews with Harvard Law School to Nobel Prize Winners. The discoveries about Mr. Riley along the way are troubling, and as he attempts to continue his attacks on his critics, a well rounded understanding of who Mr. Riley is and how he operates will be profoundly revealing and educational.

    Posted by Dozier Internet Law on September 05, 2008 at 07:16 AM in internet law | Permalink

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.