Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Together tomorrow

Dear Jolla users and enthusiasts, Jolla Ltd and its partners.

Who I am, or where I work, means nothing for what I’m about to say. On the other hand, what I believe in and what I choose to do, means everything.

I believe in this community and I'm asking it to act.

If someone can shape the smartphone industry, it’s all of us. We have already begun. Big things have happened thanks to all of you.

Let’s forget about Jolla for a moment. This is not about Jolla. Jolla is a small company with limited resources. I’m tired of both hearing and repeating it. It’s going to stop today.

It doesn't change the fact, that our community enabled the possibility we have today. And together, we either make or break that opportunity to give this stagnated industry a run for its money.

I see desperation in the smartphone industry. Same things are repeated and recycled. Over and over again. Big manufacturers are locked in an eternal patent war. A game of sudden death. Each focusing on getting better hardware cheaper. What it actually means, is selling compromised hardware for the user, with the same software experience as last time. A lot of corners are cut in that process. Only rivaled by the ridiculous amount of marketing that goes into covering it all up. Operators and retailers are trying to somehow come by.

Meanwhile, the end user is looking from the sidelines. Everything is badly derailed. It’s not sustainable. It’s not what tomorrow should be.

And we've known it for a long time. We all challenged that.

I'd like to point out that it's very rare for a community of this size, to have two real products shipping in several regions. A phone and an operating system.

Unfortunately, that is playing by the wrong rules.

It's the exceptional bunch of people behind it what matters. They all had real courage to do new things. They all bravely stood behind new ideas and promoted them. And their message was:

"We want to buy tools that fit what we do, not what the industry wants us to do."

It's essential to understand how this industry works. What are the rules it plays by. Because those rules aren't for people. They’re rules for business. Rules how to make profit for companies. The smartphone industry has long since stopped being user driven. Why else would you have to buy a new phone every six months.

Therefore our own style of play has to focus on user values. There is only one rope to pull. And only a single direction to pull it. We need to get noticed as individuals with different things we need a smartphone for, not a distraction from them.

Whatever the reasons was for all of you to get involved in this movement, I bet it was much more personal than any hardware specification. Every manufacturer is focused on how to distract users from the fact, that a smartphone should be useful in your everyday lives, instead of use up our lives.

A phone is an important tool that should comfortably fit to the center of our daily chores, instead of being your daily chore.

Stand tall. There's nothing to apologize. Be proud of what we've achieved together. Be open about how you feel in this community and help others to clear out common misunderstandings. Many simply don't know what this community is about. They don't have any idea what Sailfish OS even is? Why does it exist in the first place? What was the story behind its creation?

Nearly all of you know it very well, and can pass it on. Please do. Even if it's all work in progress. Our community, OS and available hardware; are all glimpses of what tomorrow could be.

The choice is ours. What do we all choose to do.

Smartphone manufacturers will not magically become aware of our values. We need to do something about it. That includes everyone.

Everyone can affect what Sailfish OS will be tomorrow. Because when working with the smartphone industry, we all need to be very clear about one thing.

Sailfish OS exists to serve user needs.

User has the control of what happens on their devices. If we don't make that clear, the OS will surely, as others before it, slowly turn into an industry tool, instead of being your tool. It will gradually stop fitting to the center of your daily chores by turning into your daily chore. For the same old stubborn game to continue. That is the inevitable effect that the industry has on undefended products.

It's caused by the way this industry plays. It's gotten blind to alternatives. Forcing everything it comes in contact with to submit to its rules. It needs help in finding other ways to play. Other ways to create value and also profit from it.

You're all a living proof that it can be done.

What this industry needs is a wake-up call. Nobody else will do it on your behalf. Either we keep doing what we do also tomorrow, or we don't.

Simple as that.

If you agree, grab that rope and give it a good pull.


Thanks for reading and see you in the next post. In the meantime, agree or disagree, debate or shout. Bring it on and spread the word.

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