Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community
This post, authored by Mark Beckford (Managing Director for Strategic Business Development at Intel in China), argues that the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project should have been set up as a for-profit enterprise. It would have benefited, he said, from a business mindset, a vibrant ecosystem, and competition. The problem is, the stuff that went into making OLPC possible would not have happened were it simply some private company - it wouldn't have had Kofi Anan's endorsement, it wouldn't have had Mary Lou Jepsen's screen, it wouldn't have had Walter Bender's Sugar, and it wouldn't have had the widespread notice and publicity. And, had it been a for-profit enterprise, it would have been bought out and quietly killed by Intel at the first sign of success (see the history of Firefly for a good example of this sort of thing).

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Oct 21, 2020 3:00 p.m.