Military Coup Risk for OLPC Sales

   
   
   
   
   

If you want to reduce logistical costs, the easiest way is to sell more to less buyers. One Laptop Per Child thought of this early on, and has been myopically focused on selling its 2B1 Children's Machine laptops just to governments in units of at least one million.

While this is a brilliant strategy to eliminate the cost and hassle of single unit or even small unit block sales, there is one major risk having only a handful of buyers. A risk OLPC is now confronting in real time.


ex-Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

One of the four initial target countries, Thailand, just had a coup. The military leadership took control of the government from . Thaksin was a proponent of the OLPC project, announcing in August that Thailand would be testing 530 2B1 Children's Machines.

In time we learned that really, Thailand would only be testing visual models and developer board demos, but Thaksin already linked himself closely with One Laptop Per Child.

Now that coup leader is in control, and new elections will be held soon, the entire government leadership of Thailand is in flux. In that flux, few if any career bureaucrats or politicians will be egger to associate with one of Thaskin's efforts or commit at least $140 million dollars towards the purchase of 2B1 Children's Machines.

This leaves Nicholas Negroponte in quite a predicament. Does he continue to claim that Thailand will be an initial roll-out partner until he's publicly rebuffed or embraced? If rebuffed, what country will step up to make his self-imposed 5 million laptop initial production run?

Or might he go a whole different route, go back upon on the founding tenants of OLPC, and not only sell single laptops, but sell them in developed countries too? Say, sell 2B1 Children's Machines on eBay even?

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1 Comment

Thaksin needed to go. He was bad. He would take books from children. Children need books and laptops. Not one or other.

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  • Dear sir
    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

    Comment on The XO Tablet - A First Impression in 750 Words

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    I have one question to sir?

    -1 why XO Tablet children play OK but when h …

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  • You just follow the same route upstream how you got the 2XO Tablets? How did you get them? Bring …

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  • That's called "Death on arrivals". They happen. That's why there's always some additio …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

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  • I just bought 2 shelves XO. Both tablets are not working. One does not start and the other touch …

    Comment on Goodbye One Laptop per Child

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  • OLPC is not death; eg. this One Laptop per Child San Francisco (OLPC-SF) June 21, 2014 Meeting a …

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