This has been a rough week for the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program. In Nigeria OLPC got sued by LANCOR, a Nigerian Keyboard maker, for patent infringement. If they pay $20 million though they get permission to sell their laptop anyway. Sounds like a Nigerian scam? Judge for yourself.
Earlier this week Mary Lou Jepsen, OLPC CTO announced she was going to start her own company to sell some of the hot screen technologies she developed while working for OLPC. The world jumped all over her and OLPC. In reality Mary Lou Jepsen asigned all her patents to OLPC and is in fgact licensing them back. But the harm was already done.
Today Intel announced that it will drop out of the One Laptop Per Child project and resign from the board after the project’s board demanded the chipmaker stop supporting other efforts in emerging markets.
Conclusion: having a good idea and implementing it is just theory. Dealing with business partners, unexpected events and people leaving is reality. Sometimes, reality sucks.