I wrote a quick commentary on some of the issues at hand.
Crowdfunding needs some ways for non experts to be able to assess whether a certain project can deliver on its promises.(which ind.ie never could. Building your own smartphone with a handful of people?)
I think it can be done. Not a smartphone that can compete with Samsung or Apple on (all of) performance, fit-and-finish, and size, but it can be done. Bunnie and Xobs are shipping their open-source Novena laptop as we speak. There’s only two of them, and they seem to have fingers in many pies to boot :)
I don’t think this team could have. Bunnie and crew are technical people who have the knowledge, connections and know their limitations. These people didn’t seem to have a realistic goal. Maybe they can badge engineer a Chinese phone with some firmware, but even that I doubt.
I agree that it can be done – isn’t this what Jolla did?
It’s interesting how you seem to put Apple and Google in such extremes in your comparisons throughout the site: “Apple doesn’t sell their users”, “they don’t do spyware while Google does”, etc. Perhaps I’m a cynic, perhaps I’m mixing up the news I heard, but could you elaborate a bit on these polar opposites?
One thing I find odd is that Windows fulfills their platform criteria: it’s a paid-for product, with no interest in selling your personal data, and all cloudy things are optional.
So why not build a Windows app first? They don’t even mention it.
As much as I dislike the “white elite” trope, I believe this sums up the universe this guy lives in rather well: https://twitter.com/evemassacre/status/554963254490202112
Egos cloud everything - including the potential for accepting that “M$” might fit their agenda… (he cites Microsoft as one of the “evil corps” in his blog because they “sell you out”, as opposed to Apple)
I also just found that they are explicitly named in their manifesto, but not in the linked article.
I understood it to be because MS doesn’t (usually?) sell the hardware, while Apple does.
I think there’s an unfilled niche of high quality, we’ll integrated software for Windows from small independent teams, like you see on OS X. But most Mac focused teams I see like this one don’t care and brush it off.
http://twitter.com/aral might have the answers you seek.
(Edit: I posted this here as the parent explicitly talks to the author - which is @aral and he usually can be contacted via twitter)