09/15/2011, 01:43 PM
See my complete original post: How the Community Can Save Webos:
This is a call to arms. Our Mission,if we choose to accept it - Save Webos
So what are the Webos faithful to do now? Seemingly, Webos is a failed platform. It matters little if HP develops the OS if there are no devices that run it. Admob is cutting Webos off, removing an incentive for developers. While it may be semi comforting to some that the DNA of Webos might find its way into printers and cars and various and sundry enterprise apps, thats cold comfort to die hard users of this outstanding moble OS.
How can the community have an impact now that will save Webos from a slow death? We make lemons from lemonade:
HP is all about the bucks, not the vision. For Webos to survive and not be sold off for its parts (patents), HP must successfully monetize it. This is where we, the community of users and developers, come in. We have to work together and with HP (much as we might wish they were HTC) to retain, indeed enhance the value of Webos as a platform. We all have a part to play. Time to make lemonade. Here is how we do it.
1. HP must do an all out press to retain its developers and should subsidize big name developers to create apps for the platform - Raw app numbers don't matter, but app quality and popularity does. HP must bring the most popular developers to the platform by any means necessary. if that means building the app for them, its what they should do. Get creative, offer bounties for certain app types, prize competitions like Netflix has done. Whatever it takes HP, get it done.
2. Webos developers must support and update existing apps and create new ones. The platform has to stay alive for 12-18 months without a hardware refresh (the time I think it takes for PSG unit to get spun off or a savior company purchase by HTC, Amazon or some other unknown player). The key to that is keeping the ecosystem alive and that means developers must not orphan, shelve or deep freeze their apps in the meanwhile. Developers must keep their apps alive.
3.Webos users must Buy apps - This is key. Its about the money. The firesale has put thousands of webos devices in the hands of new users and their numbers are now added to those of us still using webos. With no devices being made for 12-18 months, the platform will quickly wither in mindshare and marketshare for lack of developer support and devices beginning 1st Qtr 2012 if developers can't see any future return for their labors. The Webos community must buy apps. Not just apps we want or like or that are really good. We must buy apps simply because they exist. We must buy apps as a recreational activity. Buy $5 worth of apps a month. Whether you use them or not. Whether you like them or not. Just buy apps. We must subsidize our developer community through this period, so they can come out the other side ready to create new apps when hardware for webos comes back to the market. A component of this strategy: App/Patch bounties on the software solutions we want, funded by the user base. I'm talking more than uncollectible port petitions or app requests not backed up by any cash. These are app bounties with pledges of real cash by real people of their real money, collectible by a developer when the solution is delivered.
4. User community and HP must financially support Webos Internals - Webos Internals is arguably as responsible for innovation and advancement of the Webos platform as its owners have been. We'll need them to continue their life giving work to this platform, so we must financially support their work and HP should enable them with equipment and bucks. They are a cheap investment in the life of the platform. The user community is already doing its part and we should keep doing it. HP, give them what you spent on the nearly worthless tv advertising, you'll reap far more return for it than the tv spots ever got.
5. Convert new touchpad owners to rabid webos fans who buy apps - We have been gifted a new crop of webos users. We must convert them to die hard supporters of the platform and mondo app purchasers too.
6. Retain pre-, pre+, pre2 and touchpad hardware for as long as possible - There are a dwindling number of replacements. We have to keep using all of these devices to keep a mindshare and a semblance of market share and help each other as a community with creative ways to fix or replace our devices in the event of loss or failure for the 12-18 months needed to get to a new webos hardware cycle.
USER SIDE STRATEGY: APP Bounties - How it works
Users make pledges of money to a collectible bounty for a given app/solution/patch via credit card. Developers take action to develop that solution when a bounty gets big enough to attract them. Solution/app/patch gets developed. Developer gets paid, users get solution, Webos is improved, everyone is happy. If solution never materializes, users don't have to pay. No risk. All upside.
I've already begun campaigns to work this userside strategy and I invite you to join them and create even better, more inventive campaigns of your own.
Bring Words with Friends to Webos!
Bring Netflix Watch Instantly to Webos!
Bring a Mint.com app to Webos!
Click here to go to the Official App Bounty Thread with all current and pending app bounty campaigns
This approach over 12-18 months could conceivably keep Webos on vital life support while HP solidifies its plans or a buyer comes to the rescue. It preserves our developer community, ensures vitality in the platform and keeps webos attractive for potential purchasing or licensing interest from companies interested in winning the market with its mobile goodness. Webos has a window of time between now and the end of the 1st quarter 2012 where action by this community in this period could keep enough viability in the platform that hardware gets another shot via the spun off PSG, which I consider about the most probable and realistically likely path to any future for Webos. Thats how the Webos user and developer community and HP, working together, can save Webos to live another day.
I don't think I'm dreaming here. Come on. We are smart people. My plan has some flaws, but we are the Webos community. We take stuff and make it better, so lets do what we do. Take this strategy outline and build on it. We can make this happen.