Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:06 pm

Anyone else thinking about the business of Adding Value to a Raspberry Pi bundle for these volume markets; educational, hobbyist, embedded and secondary purpose.

Myself, I have over six ventures in the planning stages.

Will the forum members help to:
1) Crowd Source what a VAR of Raspberry Pi models will mean,
and would
2) an Association of VARs be useful?

To start the discussion, I offer: ( without passing this by Liz or Eben, Mea Culpa )

Requirements:
R.1) Apply and gain approval to be a R-Pi VAR by the Foundation and VAR Assoc.
R.2) Make /Offer a donation (% of Sales and/or Goods at wholesale value) to the RPF. These donations are used to promote the Foundation and their Goals and Purposes.
R.3) Minimum order volume per period (Gray & Black Marketing is forbidden)

Benefits:
B.1) Permitted to ReSell the R-Pi models with their Added Value product(s).
B.2) Licensed to use in an approved manner by the RPF; logos, reprints and RPF materials with the VAR's product, advertising and promotion.
B.3) Co-Op media placement and material
B.4) Inclusion, at cost, in R-Pi Trade Show events and promotions.

Ok. I started the ball rolling.
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Bacan

Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:11 pm

R.4) Agrees to uphold a Code of Ethics as defined by the RPF & Assoc.

johnel
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:42 am

I'm actually planning to use the device in a potential product .

Agreeing to uphold a Code of Ethics is a good point.

I'm not sure creating an "Association" is the way forward. Would this just raise the "barrier to entry" and go against the spirit of the project?

Since Raspberry Pi is a charity anyway is there a need to for "% of sales"? Is buying the product enough?
Maybe offering an optional "Premium Technical Support Membership" and charging for it would be better?

I think we have to be careful and not add too much bureacratic process to a concept like the Raspberry Pi.

WizardOfOZ
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:04 am

Translation: "Official VARs will have to pay a non-trivial amount to the Raspi foundation per time to be recognized as such. Small players, individuals and start-ups without huge war chests need not apply. This is for well established companies only."

Feedback: Not a chance.

To be blunt about it, then the undergrowth of single person VARs and hobbyists with non-existent budgets is the disruptive technology, which is breaking the old trade organizations and mechanisms that you consider introducing. The same undergrowth is the very lifeblood of the development in communities surrounding projects like Arduino and - one would hope - Raspberry Pi. This precisely because the bar to entry is nearly zero, and almost any idea can be tested. Making a brand name exclusive club only for the 'big' players feels like an attempt at closing the door after the horse has bolted.

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liz
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:48 am

We're not slapping any conditions on anyone making something they want to monetize with a Raspberry Pi. We believe that entrepreneurship is part of what makes the world spin, and one of the things we want to do with the device is to help facilitate that. So we probably won't recognise any organisations at all as VARs, because with doing that comes consideration (in the legal sense), which we don't want to limit people with.

We would very much like it if people who find themselves with successful businesses as a result of our charity's work felt that they would like to donate something back to the charity, but it's not something we're going to try to enforce; we'd like to leave it to people's consciences.
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jamesh
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:00 pm

Bearing in mind the foundation has no issues with people buying lots of Pi's and building them in to their own products, I'm not sure what the need is for specfic VAR's. The only area where I think the foundation would need to be involved is in use of Raspi trademarks e.g. the logo and name. How that is dealt with I don't know. Up to them. Of course, it may be that people using Raspi in their own products won't want to advertise the fact. Or vica versa - "Powered By RaspberryPi", or "RaspberryPi inside" come to mind. The latter two are not even trademark issues I think. Just statements of fact.
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darkcity
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:24 pm

Statements of fact can be trademarks I believe.

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Lob0426
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:26 pm

If you create an association then demand a donation then you are in essence demanding a licensing fee. Now you also have to waste money on attorneys because not every business is going to want to pay the donation. etc. etc. etc.. They pay licensing fees to a dozen or two organizations themselves. This could be a big reason that businesses want to use the RasPi as the fees are already paid. I say good luck that these organizations do not try to make them join and pay licensing themselves.

RasPi price goes up because you now have have a legal office.

They will probably have enough problem with unscrupulous characters misusing their logo as it is. I believe they already are fighting, shutting down, a website that is selling Raspberry Pi stuff without permission.
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liz
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:37 pm

Yeah - someone tried to register Raspberry Pi as a trademark in Spain (which we've dealt with), and a couple of shops sprung up online selling branded Raspberry Pi goods (takedown notices work wonders). That's *not* the sort of entrepreneurship we want to encourage, because the foundation plans to make a good part of its running costs from merchandise!
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Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:29 pm

I saw an Association as a force multiplier for the spirit of the Raspberry Pi project.

Well I have my answer from our Goddess, Liz - We're not slapping any conditions on anyone making something they want to monetize with a Raspberry Pi. We believe that entrepreneurship is part of what makes the world spin, and one of the things we want to do with the device is to help facilitate that. So we probably won't recognise any organisations at all as VARs, because with doing that comes consideration (in the legal sense), which we don't want to limit people with.

May we have the best from everyone, for I know: You can't get the cat back in the bag, once it is let out.

jacklang
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:44 pm

We may, however put conditions on the external use of our trademarks to protect the brand.
If you want to use Raspberry Pi as a component in your device go ahead, but if you want to put "Raspbery Pi Inside" or the like on the outside talk to us first.

Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:54 pm

Actually I was thinking of :VARs will pay a trivial amount to the Association to be recognized as such. Small players, individuals and start-ups are encouraged to join and use the benefits and resources to improve and nuture the R-Pi ecosystem. We wish to assist you in becoming a well established and successful company.

Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 3:07 pm

Was thinking of this as a way to forecast the manufacturing requirements:

R.3) Minimum order volume per period (Gray & Black Marketing is forbidden)

Not as a way to restrict the smaller start-ups.

When a VAR successfully reaches a market segment, 10,000 units is a drop in that market's bucket. Have you any idea how many children are in the US?

How the Foundation handles massive orders of R-Pi will be interesting to watch, and hopefully, not to painful to experience.

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Burngate
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:34 pm

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Bacan
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Re: RPVA -- Raspberry Pi VAR (Value Added Reseller) Assn

Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:08 pm

I don't know about the educational system in the UK, here in the US, red tape is used by the gross lot in the admin and purchasing office. Speaking from personal experience having worked with a computer retailer, selling to school districts and gov't agencies, it can be painful to establish the approved channel for doing business. Having an Authorized Reseller agreement goes along way with the school district offices for knowing your real.

Schools also have a different way of doing business. In a store front, walk in, pay cash or use a credit card, walk out with product. Schools use a multi-layered back-n-forth paper work nightmare. RFPs, Approval to place a bid Bonding, Delivery Contracts, Purchase Orders, Performance Assurances, and on, and on. I understand the need to protect the use of public funds. But boy does the system it get to you after awhile.

On top of all the paperwork load, the school districts want to really only deal with one vendor for all the parts of a system. So thinking that schools will order boards from an overseas charity, software off the web, keyboards and mice from another, my experience makes me believe that will be the exception, not the standard method. Let us not forget that schools may pay 30-90 days after delivery with something called a Warrant. A promise to pay, maybe, sometime in the future.

So you wonder why companies die from being in business to service the educational system.

[ Thanks. My remembering the Dark Side of the educational business model, now has me rethinking making offers to the School Districts in the US.]

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