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Loosely Typed in Ohio

Missing the Point

Yesterday, Andrew Cowie fawned over the OpenMoko mobile phone, how revolutionary it’s going to be because it runs Linux, and how it does things right. Now, I agree with most everything he said. Let’s get that out of the way right now: this is an awesome looking phone! Just between the little shot of the phone on that page, and the description of the open standards they’re using, I’m excited! The problem is not with the phone.

The problem is with this little gem Andrew stuck in near the bottom:

And as a personal note, I especially respect the fact that the device does not have a camera in it. After all, any self respecting photographer already has a real camera, why waste space and power in my phone for it?

That line sums up the general attitude of Linux geeks. Andrew’s completely missing the point here. The point of a cameraphone isn’t to have an awesome production-capable camera inside your phone, it’s about taking a quick picture of a celebrity when you see them in a mall.

Little holy wars are fun for people that are already in the “in-crowd” — personally I love debating with our CSS guru Kent about the merits of vim vs. emacs — but if you’re throwing that crap at the public, do you really expect them to warm up to the product? Furthermore, if you seem proud that your product doesn’t have a feature that I want, why the devil should I look twice at it?

if we at Innova suddenly posted a page hyping our new web application, and specifically mentioned at the bottom that “it doesn’t have Internet Explorer support, but that’s okay because anyone seriously using the web isn’t using IE anyway” we’d lose business hand over fist. Why do some people seem to miss this point?

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