No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
1. Product selection – personal reasoning
OLPC – One Laptop per Child was a group project for Management Information Systems class on which I took part. We presented this product from technical and business point of view, but there was no marketing exercise involved. I thought that this positioning paper would complement this gap. The MIS project paper is available on request.
2. Short history of the OLPC project
OLPC is also called the 100$ laptop project has in focus the mass production of an educational computer that would be distributed among children living in countries where education is not sufficiently funded. The idea behind the project goes back to 1965, but most importantly it was presented in 2005 at the World Summit on Information Society where U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan “promoted” the product. This would be the first important moment from marketing point of view. This project had, has and will get a special attention in the written / spoken / visual media and especially on the Internet. It just would be a waste not to harness it, isn’t it?
3. Target market
The product we are talking about is the XO laptop. The laptop has very interesting technical capabilities which are going to be mentioned in later chapters. The original concept of the project was to distribute this product on developing countries, but now it seems that there is quite big demand for it in US and Canada where is also officially sold. Basically the target market was segmented by the amount of money a government can spend on the education of one child / year. This is the primary market in focus. Since the product happened to be so well received by the developed part of the world a secondary market appeared, drawing very harsh competition with it.
Another dimension targeted by this project was age based. The primary focus is on school age children, many functionalities of the product like gaming buttons, robustness were developed to target this segment.
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