Kyle Rankin

Kyle Rankin

President
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Librem Social
Kyle Rankin

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It’s that time of year when many people find themselves in a reflective mood. For those of us in the US, it’s the week of the Thanksgiving holiday and this week people commonly reflect on the past year and what they are thankful for. Normally our posts are status updates, tech tips, or thought pieces, but we thought it would be nice to share with some of the things we are thankful for this year.

You

First and foremost, we are most thankful for you, our customers and supporters. It’s our customers that most directly allow us to continue our Social Purpose. Each purchase allows us to fund not just the hardware and the team that prepares and ships it, but a more significant amount of that purchase goes directly to fund free software development.

People are generally willing to pay for hardware and services, and are generally less willing to pay for software, especially software under a Free Software license. So the way we fund free software is by selling premium hardware at a premium price, and directing much of the profits toward our software development team.

We are also thankful for all of our supporters. Not everyone is in the market for our hardware or services, or they may not have the budget for them at this time, yet we often get emails or other messages of encouragement from people in the community who support what we do. Some folks also donate directly to our cause without ordering hardware.

Many people are aware of the problems Big Tech companies have caused in the industry, removing privacy and control from individuals, and our supporters often tell us they are rooting for us to succeed so that there can be true alternatives to Big Tech offerings. These messages truly do mean a great deal to us.

Shipping Parity

We are incredibly thankful that this year has seen us hit shipping parity across most of our pre-ordered product lines, first with the Librem 14 and then this summer with the Librem 5 USA (which was featured recently by CNBC). We have been transitioning away from Just In Time fulfillment toward a model where we hold as much stock as we reasonably can so we can absorb supply chain disruptions more easily.

We are also thankful that after an incredible amount of time and effort, we have finally resolved the supply chain issues holding up Librem 5 shipments. While we still have many Librem 5s to ship through, we are shipping more every week and it has been gratifying to hear from those of you who have stuck with us, who are now using a Librem 5 that continues to improve with each passing month. With electronics components accounted for, we can now schedule the remaining Librem 5 mass production runs, with our next production run (E4) hopefully completing in the next month or so and E5 close behind it.

We have also decided to move away from the crowdfunded/pre-order model toward one where we fund and pursue research and development behind the scenes and announce new products when they are ready to ship. We are looking forward to sharing progress on this front with you soon.

Software Progress

We are also thankful for all of the progress we have been able to make on the software front this year. It can be hard to list all of the progress in a single, short post, because the incremental nature of software improvements (such as in our kernel work) means each release makes software some degree better better than before.

That said, some highlights might be the addition of SIP call support in Calls, encrypted Matrix support in Chatty, experimental support for suspend on the Librem 5, initial support for the Librem 5 camera, continued improvements in our Librem EC firmware and PureBoot firmware (such as the addition of Restricted Boot), and many improvements in Phosh and the rest of the software that powers the Librem 5 that make using the Librem 5 easier and smoother than ever before.

Our Team

Running a Social Purpose company in some ways is a lot closer to running a non-profit than a traditional company, in the sense that you have a mission beyond profit that is first and foremost in everyone’s mind. I know I can speak for Todd as well, when I say how thankful we are for the amazing team we have assembled here at Purism.

It is incredibly hard work creating and shipping hardware; developing free software; developing documentation, tutorials, and marketing materials; creating innovative and beautiful designs, and supporting all of our customers who run a wide range of OSes and have as wide a range of experience. Plus there is all the day-to-day logistical, accounting, and sysadmin work that underpins just about every business.

Having a team that not only understands but truly believes in your mission is invaluable. Many members of our team are folks that originally worked as volunteers for free software projects before we hired them. That passion allows us to accomplish so much more than we could otherwise, and few days go by when I’m not amazed by the talent and accomplishments of our team.

The Future

As we look back, it’s also good to look forward. There are so many things we have to look forward to in the coming months, including finishing up Librem 5 backorders, more behind-the-scenes R&D, and ever more software improvements. Thank you again for all of your support!

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