Fund raising ideas
Some ideas for raising funds.
A televison quiz show
Is it possible to devise a television quiz show series to raise funds to deploy laptops in the poorest countries?
The Olympic Games used to be financed by cities out of public funds. These cities were often left paying off debts for years. Then Los Angeles hosted the games on condition that no money was paid out of public funds. The games there made a profit from sponsorship and advertising. The debt of at least one other city in respect of a previous Olympic Games was paid off out of the surplus!
So, would it be possible for people who write in this wiki to devise a format for a television quiz show in the hope that a major television channel will take up the format, make the show and, as part of the show, raise funds to deploy laptops in the poorest countries?
Suppose that the television company, perhaps a major USA channel provider, ran the quiz.
Each episode, maybe a weekly event, would have been recorded somewhere on location, maybe a museum auditorium, with the participants being highly knowledgable experts on the items in the museum. There would be four or five such participants in each episode. There would be a quizmaster. The quizmaster would ask questions about objects which are put on display. This could mean that the set is moved during the filming so that, say, instead of a famous painting being moved into the studio, the people and the cameras move to where the painting is located. This movement of people and cameras would not be necessary for small items, would be desirable for things like paintings and would be essential for things like aeroplanes in an aeronautics museum.
The questions could start easy and get harder. However, once a question had been answered and money awarded, nothing could cause that money to be taken back or lost: that is an important feature of the format.
Suppose, for example, one episode of the quiz came from the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. and one of the questions starts with the painting of Ginevra de Benci. The participants could be asked the name of the painting. One laptop for getting the correct answer. They could be asked the name of the artist. One laptop for getting the correct answer. There could then be several deeper questions about the painting. For example, which year was it painted? Each correct answer would win one or more laptops.
The show, maybe an hour of air time when broadcast, so made at about 50 minutes for advertising breaks, could have a possible maximum of however many laptops the programme budget could stand. The production company could pay a fee to the museum for facilities. Hopefully there would be many museums which would be willing to host a show and many experts who would be willing to appear in the show, which would, by its nature, be recorded close to where many of them happen to be, as they might well be associated with the museum.
The show could be of great public interest as it would be educational and would also have the excitement and entertainment of a quiz. There would be no individual scoring by the experts, it would be that the team of experts answered the questions as a team and the only score would be the number of laptops won.
Please help to put this idea into good shape. If you can see a problem please mention it, maybe someone else can find a solution.
Web Kiosk Mode
As I understand it the two main problems the project needs to overcome are financing and having a sufficiently large production run to reduce prices.
My suggestions allow the laptop to run in a Web Kiosk mode, and sell it in large numbers to businesses and retailers.
It could be used to provide access to corporate web sites at conferences/trade shows and in shops.
All it would need to be is cheep, and easily configurable for it to out perform any other solution. If a few Large retailers could be convinced that being able to hand a customer the device to allow them to show the clerk exactly what they saw on the company website, without having the overhead of installing and maintaining customer computer access, both problems could be solved. --Antony, 16:34, 10 January 2007
As an alternative, perhaps a reality show/documentary program could be produced using only footage collected by children using their XO Laptops. The program could be formatted as a series/miniseries with each episode focusing on one third world village. Not only would the show's sponsors and viewers see where their money is going, the operating costs of the show would be virtually zero, (except perhaps for editing and airtime) allowing more money to be spent on laptops.
If the governments of developing nations continue to balk at following through on their commitments, I suggest pursing domestic sales to prove the concept. Honestly, I can see why poor nations would balk; "if it's so great, why aren't you doing it?" The solution to this is to distribute the laptop to anyone that wants it so it can be proven to work. It will also help to reduce the overall cost. The buy-one, give-one concept already breaks from the original concept enough that the laptops will not be unique to school children in developing countries, so why not go all the way? While the original philosophy is admirable, the idea is too good to let die because of it. Sell the laptop to everyone.
Once you make the decision to go with open sales, there are two alternative approaches:
1) sell through retailers like Amazon. 2) go with an open sales force based on user groups.
The Open Sales Force Concept:
Allow people to form and register OLPC User Groups. These groups can order minimum lots (say, 100) of laptops, to reduce shipping costs, and distribute them as they see fit, though not for profit. If you plaster the price all over the media, it shouldn't be too difficult to undermine people trying to resell for profit. Thus, people can get together and, in a fashion, bulk-purchase the laptop, or they can offer the laptops to local schools etc.. The user groups would also become support centers, all for free. The open sales force concept allows the laptops to be distributed widely, and quickly, without compromising the non-profit aspects.
If you followed through with the open sales force concept completely, you could probably allow volunteer national distribution centers to self-organize and further reduce the shipping costs. The ordering process would not be fast. People would have to pay their money and probably wait quite a long time for the orders to add up, be forwarded to the national centers, and add up again, until a shipping contain can be filled. But, it can't be any slower than the government of a developing country.