I'm sure we all know how successful Linux is across different markets
today, but I've been wondering about with Linux as a desktop platform
if one were to run a business around selling machines that're built
with it in mind.
The market for online retailers selling devices shipping Linux already
seems diverse enough, but I don't know of any successful brick-and-
mortar stores selling these devices. I think there could be some
advantages to this, including:
- Spreading awareness about Linux and the FOSS community
- Providing on-site troubleshooting and consultation
- Demonstrating different form factors such as Raspberry Pi, Steam OS
machines, workstation etc
- Providing a physical location for workshops, LUGs, and other meetups
- Having a one-stop shop for hardware that's already known to work on
Linux such as USB DACs, wifi adapters, etc
- Generally act as a community center for computer enthusiasts
- Partnering with pre-existing online vendors so customers can test
their hardware in-store
Jumping into a business such as this does sound risky though, seeing as
the Linux crowd is generally very hands-on about computers they
purchase and are willing to fix problems on their own. There are also
many hurdles that the ecosystem has to catch up on in order to be
competitive with applications found only on Windows and/or macOS. That
being said, I think I'm still curious to see how much interest there
would be in selling a platform around desktop Linux in a brick-and-
mortar store with an experience similar to Microsoft and Apple stores.
It would certainly help for attracting new users with a more integrated
approach that we've come to expect from other platforms, and I think
we're in a pretty good position these days for seeing growth.
I'd also like to say that I have no experience in marketing, so I
wouldn't know where to start with doing anything like market research
or studies, so I'm eager to hear any suggestions for how to gauge the
potential for a business idea such as this.
More than happy to hear what everyone else thinks!