I would like to thank Dr. Mo for bringing this subject to light as I was not brave enough to be the first to do so.
I wrote this post ages ago (saving it in draft) because I felt I really didn’t want the back lash that would come from writing such a post. You can read Dr. Mo’s post Ubuntu: Re-Doing the Possible.
First a diagram to get us all on the same page.
Ubuntu sits below the red dotted line – There is a product with features that currently exists in the world.
Ubuntu has not put in the time to address the core reason it’s not being spread virally by users.
The current community thinks it knows the needs and uses of its users when in fact the term ‘users’ only refers to current Ubuntu users (which is less than 1% of the market place). So what about the other 99% what do they say?
Well I did all the hard work for you I went on the street multiple times on multiple days and spoke to hundreds of people (don’t believe me – see my posts, Street Tested, Marketing Ubuntu, Ubuntu Slogan, Learn Grow Share Ubuntu) and they said: UBUNTU. WHAT IS IT?
After that they would say: WHY WOULD I NEED THAT? Trying to convince them that they have a problem that they themselves don’t believe they have – Is a problem. It’s a huge problem for Ubuntu – not the user.
Let’s recap what we know so far:
99% of people don’t know What Ubuntu is
99% don’t feel they have a problem with their current OS
99% has some dis-satisfaction with their current OS but the pain of dis-satisfaction is not enough for them to seek out an alternative solution
Ok so now what? Well – Ask them what they do want – Shut up and Listen. Stop trying to shove your ‘perfect’ Ubuntu Solution down the throats of the masses. Go out on the street and talk to the 99% of the people who are not on their computer reading this post.
I have been trying to get my girlfriend to convert to Ubuntu for a few years, she’s played with it and loves it but won’t change because Ubuntu does not have Netflix. She doesn’t have cable and watches Netflix when she wants to relax. I asked her if Ubuntu had Netflix would you change – Answer: Probably yes.
We are getting closer to a solution.
But she is just one person – what do those FUTURE 200 million Ubuntu Users want? Don’t ask the current community they are not your customer – you want 200 million users – get out from behind your computer – take a pen and paper and start asking people on the street – complete strangers. Then focus on delivering that!
I will admit I have been using Mint exclusively since May and I feel it does a better job of delivering what users want. I don’t know if they got lucky by copying a Windows layout.
You don’t need luck, you can actually know and the only way is to talk to strangers. I know I’m sounding like a broken record and I’m sorry but it really is the only realistic answer.
Is the Ubuntu Shopping Lens a good idea? Go on the street and ask someone – stop asking the people who have already ‘bought’ into Ubuntu.
Dr. Mo’s post says:
“Instead we have an attitude that Ubuntu is done, we’ve made all the giant leaps that are possible and it’s time to settle down into a mature market place and polish the bits we already have. This is no time for ambition or experimentation! We have tea to make and feet to put up next to a cosy fire!”
And as a user I feel this very true.
Ubuntu Community what are you going to do? Sit behind your computer fighting and arguing amongst each other? Or rally together, get on the same page and start listening to the future users of Ubuntu?