openmoko

openmoko
Openmoko has recently launched their new open-source cellphone Neo Freerunner and we are excited that they are using Shopify to sell it online.

We had the pleasure to talk to Sean Moss-Pultz, CEO of Openmoko about their products and shopping carts:

Shopify

Tell us about the inspiration behind the Openmoko project and your role in it.

Sean

Openmoko was created out of immense personal frustration with the closed-nature of the mobile industry. Everything from the software running on handsets to the business models governing the ecosystem seemed to be about limiting freedoms of the individual. Exactly the opposite of the way the Internet world functions. For someone, like myself, who believes phones are the most important electronic device in our lives, this is scary. So we set out to change this.

I started Openmoko as a project inside of FIC with the help of some extremely talented FOSS developers. Luckily, we had lots of interest so I was able to gain more internal freedom as the project grew. Now we’re an independent company with about 80 people. I’m the CEO. Our purpose, if you will, is to remix open technologies to create mobile products that enrich our everyday life.

Shopify

What were your major goals with the design of the Openmoko shop?

Sean

Our last “shop” (if one could even call it that) was hacked up at the very last minute by one of our system engineers. This was after we realized that the shop we had in mind (let me keep it nameless) wasn’t flexible enough for our needs. It was quite painful.

Sean

Shopify

You chose to use an open-source platform for the Neo FreeRunner, as well as releasing the design files under a Creative Commons license – what motivated you to do that?

Sean

Early on we started thinking about one question and its implications for the mobile phone: “What happens when customers become creators?”. This influenced everything from our engineering methods to our marketing plans. Open is not a buzzword for us. It’s a fundamental belief permeating everything we do.

Shopify

Anything planned in terms of the next big product for Openmoko?

Sean

We try not to talk so much about features or design styles of future products. For the simple reason that we’re not so sure what they will look like. We start by pursuing a few essential ideas and allow for the final result to come into being during the design process. With that said. All the technical details of what we do is public. Checkout out our mailing lists and wiki if you’re interested.

Shopify

How did you find out about Shopify?

Sean

We were looking for standards compliant shopping carts. Preferably in Python or Ruby. Shopify just looked good.

Shopify

What were the deciding factors in using Shopify over other e-commerce systems?

Sean

It was all about the people. Tobias was a huge help. He went out of his way to meet our demanding requirements. Even changing stuff like backend shipping methods. We couldn’t be happier.

Shopify

The shop is integrated very well with the visual style of your web page – how easy was it to integrate with the site?

Sean

Painless. Completely painless.

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