Innovating is a roller coaster ride, there are plenty of ups and downs, exciting times and stressful times, times where others doubt but you believe. Perseverance is the most important trait of early stage entrepreneurship. We are past the early stage now, executing across hardware, software, and services; we are crossing the chasm into reliable, convenient products and have big goals for market expansion in 2022 and beyond.
The Purism business model is one of gigantic innovations in areas most people said were impossible, be that unique hardware manufacturing, USA based manufacturing, low-level boot security firmware, simplicity of hardware kill switches, red/green blinking LED for tamper detection, authoring the first truly convergent mobile OS (one that is not Android based nor iOS), creating and pushing upstream kernel modifications, adaptive libraries, and core applications. But with all of these innovations come struggles, if it were easy more people would choose to do all of what we are doing, but it takes immense passion to do what we desire and accomplish.
The Librem line, PureOS, and Librem One is the foundation for expansion. The Librem line: Librem 14 laptop, Librem 5 phone, Librem 5 USA (with Made in USA Electronics) phone, Librem Key, Librem Mini, Librem Servers. With the Librem line we have a well rounded hardware offering that runs PureOS.
PureOS: A GNU-based 100% free software truly convergent operating system developed and maintained by Purism pushes the boundaries across our hardware innovations to have a single easy-to-use OS that is on pace to rival the giants. Purism’s PureOS was also where all the development occurs for what we later pushed into GNOME; phosh, phoc, libhandy (now libadwaita), squeekboard, calls, chats, and the long list of adaptive applications. Other companies are adopting PureOS as their base OS for other industries, automotive, drones, IOT, and services; including our very own Librem One.
Librem One initially a reference platform, will see tighter integration into PureOS and the Librem line since it directly impacts the long-term goal of Purism: to make beautiful convenient products that respect the rights of humans. The ‘convenient’ part of that continues to be a major investment we make.
Crossing the chasm is often referred to as a gap that must be crossed in order to approach mass adoption. We have solved all our early growing pains and are leaping across the chasm as we continue to pour investment into growth, stock, product, software, services, and convenience.
Early struggles creating a hardware manufacturing company that can expand into software and services has always revolved around being cash constrained. In the first few years, 2014, 2015, and 2016 we had a boom-bust delivery schedule, with long delays to queue up orders to manufacture, deliver, and repeat. As our revenue grew it opened up investment opportunities, lines of credit, and inventory financing.
Middle struggles in 2017, 2018, and 2019 were still cash constrained but also combined with heavy investment into solving really challenging areas, such as the millions we invested in creating a mobile OS–PureOS–that isn’t Android based. We transitioned into holding some stock across our products but not all.
The last couple years, 2020 and 2021, have been transition years moving from the earlier boom-bust delivery into one that’s more consistent holding stock and growing delivery across our revolutionary Librem 5 phone. If it weren’t for the ball and supply chain slowdowns of 2021 (primarily the NXP CPU availability) we would have delivered all phones and start 2022 with holding stock.
Our first quarter (Jan-Mar) 2022 showed stock across much of our product offering, sitting on shelves with very tight delivery lead times. Librem 14, Librem Mini, and Librem Key will all approach a 48 hour delivery goal; this is a giant transition for Purism so we are able to meet the market demand for our products in a timely manner. This is something everybody will be happy to hear. The Librem 5–due to the CPU shortage–will continue to be delivered monthly and we expect to hold stock of it during the latter part of 2022 or early 2023. The Librem 5 USA (with Made in USA Electronics) will be delivering through pre-orders and likely in stock in Q2 2022.
Investing in PureOS, mobile OS development, convergence, application development, kernel development, reproducible builds, all while maintaining and pushing upstream has made it so that all our products benefit considerably; and by being a proud community investor, we have pushed a lot of software faster and farther than most people thought possible.
Another area that is a struggle, but one that we are proud to push forward so it will not be a struggle for the masses; is convenient rights respecting services: Chat, Calls, (Encrypted) Emails, Integrated VPN, Respectful Social are just the start of reference services that will be included within PureOS and Librem hardware.
We also use free software for all our services internally; Matrix, GitLab, ERPNext, WordPress, Jitsi, Nextcloud, to name a few.
Purism has raised many millions in investment, all from happy customers who desire us to change computing for the better. We are transitioning toward consistently profitable and are pushing to grow from revenue exclusively.
After solving all the early growing pains, investing millions in the supply chain for a future with stability, and setting up for stable growth; we are now at a strong transition point for Kyle Rankin to take the reins as President and grow Purism rapidly. Nicole Faerber, Purism CTO, will also add the Vice President role to her titles. The executive team at Purism will be: Todd Weaver as CEO, Kyle Rankin as President, and Nicole Faerber as VP/CTO. Working with Kyle and Nicole for half a decade has been the joy of my career, it also made the decision to elevate Kyle and Nicole (something I requested) an easy and proud moment in our history.
After crossing the chasm, comes another goal; the tipping point, this is where we grow market share as we continue to make our products more convenient, the more market share we gain the greater feedback cycle occurs and we will reach a tipping point where we have mass adoption of technology that respects humanity.
It has been quite a journey so far and we are ready for the growth challenges that are before us. Thank you to all who have supported us, understood the struggles, and will continue to help us change technology for the better.