How to help the Librem 5 phone campaign (beyond backing and press coverage)

I’m with you, @eagle, I could not have more excitement for the prospect of this campaign. My order is in.

Purism’s latest post says the campaign actually looks pretty good. Those of us that are privacy-focused generally stay off social media and the like, but for this campaign I plan on extending myself a bit more, because I believe in this project and its need. We actually have a huge community here - this is not just a privacy phone, this is a GNU/Linux phone! This community is huge, in addition to the security/privacy community.

We need to make sure that people realize that this isn’t just about one campaign or one phone, this is about much more.

1 Like

i agree with you, and is even more for all the people where the privacy=life like activist and journalist in alot of country, than i feel this project like the last try for gnu/linux inside a phone, because of others failure, if they will fail this i think no other one will believe and try it

i’m happy they wrote again they will refund if the project do not meet the goal, maybe there is someone else who will back the campaign, but i think the majority of people before buy a prodouct will wait other people to have it already in their hands, than there is alot of people who buy stuff only when they need it, and now we are talking about 1,5 year before to have a phone
i think alot of people will be interested and will buy the phone just after the release when they will see some review of it (i do myself for alot of prodouct) maybe the 90% of backer like you and me are privacy-gnu/linux entusiast, so we buy it even without see the prodouct, just looking at specs and philosophy, but people “in the real world” aren’t like us, at least the 90% of them, i have a couple of friends who are interested on this project but don’t buy it because the wait of 1,5 year, they tell me they will buy when will be avalaible, then i have other 2 friends who wanna see it in my hands before buy it, and i think alot of people don’t really care (or understand) about the social purpose and the importance of this project, that’s why i really hope purism crew will change the 60 days strategy, because looking at numbers in the best situation we will reach the 55% of the goal.
other “little and unknown” project like pyra had opened the preorder till release, and this help alot because i think there is alot of people interested on it, but they just don’t know about it, and the news need time to spread, than i can immagine in the next summer where the develop kit will be shipped, someone or even purism could make a video and then some other people could be interested to buy a project they see

i think everyone who backed the ubuntu edge (they reached $12.000.000) should be interested on purism, because there is linux and is even better because of open hardware but looking at the number it seems too much just hold on

Hi guys,

I am seriously thinking to support this project but my main concern is the price.
Reserving 600 dollars (plus VAT) for something that will probably appear in 1,5 years it’s a lot. And I am not the only person thinking like that. I supported other projects in the past (like openmoko neo freerunner) but the result was a bit of a disaster.

I know, this is probably the last opportunity to finally have a GNU/Linux mobile device (and focused on privacy, that is amazing) and this is why I am still thinking to get one, but price IMHO makes it a device for a limited part of the GNU/Linux community.

This is to say that I completely agree with you that extending the time to support the project would be really great and will definitely help to make it a success.


1 Like

I think Purism still just isn’t known enough.

At first I was thinking “Wow, only 2500 people need to pre-order this phone to hit the target. Surely there’s 2500 people willing to contribute that much, in addition to the who knows how many who will contribute a bit less”

But then I checked Purism’s shipping status page (which is about of a month out-of-date and I don’t think takes any shipments from inventory into account), and it looks like the total number of laptops ordered, both Librem 13 and 15, is about 700. Again, that’s old and I don’t think includes shipping, so maybe there’s closer to 1000 laptop orders. Yes, the laptops are more expensive, but GNU/Linux is much more established for laptops than for phones, and the hardware and aesthetics are more or less on par with Apple, for which people pay quite a bit more.

So, I wouldn’t really expect more than 1000 phone pre-orders (if even that), unless people start spreading the word and getting Purism’s name out there.

1 Like

Hello guys,

I appreciate you for trying to give us a free and secure phone (none on the market so far!). I really wish this project a huge success, and I’m aware the 1.2M is peanuts towards the goal and that is just a “market probe”.

Still, evaluating the current adoption/support curve (running since Aug, collected 30%, initial hype might be over), I am not sure if the goal will be reached :frowning:

So, apart from the HW & OS experts, do you have someone on your team for doing the PR? The last site update is since $250.000, I think there should be atleast one inside news/interesting fact a day; do you periodically reach the big impact sites? (geek: Phoronix (get to know you thru them), Slashdot, …), some popular youtubers (security, hw, phone news) to comment on you; Facebook/google Ads campaign, …

Finally someone who realizes this :slight_smile: it’s the “bare minimum” we can ask for to make this work in this day and age, but the goal would be to get much much more than that (hopefully once the 1.5M$ milestone is crossed, the public goes wild and piles on top of it upon seeing that “it’s going to happen!”).

Purism has an external team of 3 people assigned to doing Press Relations for the campaign, that is communicating with journalists, helping field questions or write press releases under journalistic embargo.

As for me, I currently help mostly with: advice and special cases, writing technical and community-related posts and, when time allows, fielding user questions through email and forums (essentially, “supporting support”!)…

So yes, we are already talking to dozens of journalist every day, we’re doing the maximum we can to get heard. Todd has also been interviewed on various online shows (including on the Lunduke show), etc., and is currently attending TechCrunch Disrupt in the Sillicon Valley to try to promote what we do:

We were already organically getting coverage by blogs, aggregators and forums (like Phoronix, OMG Ubuntu, Slashdot, Reddit, etc.), but as a result of our continuous Press Relations outreach efforts we’re also getting a fair amount of additional press coverage from more mainstream outlets… mostly still in tech press though; not the New York Times or the Oprah show! Quite hard to pitch to mainstream outlets (if you have connections there somewhere, feel free to spread the word).

Maybe I could look into search engine advertising specifically for this campaign (previously I had placed some ads for laptops, as an experiment, with little results), but other than that… Got other suggestions?

For this to be a success, in the grand scheme of things, we need all interested individuals to spread the word around them.


did you tried to talk with some privacy fondation?


Security guard here (I’ll just let you imagine how fabulous my working poor lifestyle is;)): I drained my vacation pay to put in for one. Look around and see if you have money in places other than your main bank account. This phone is so important to me because I work with many people who, while they understand software Freedom (because I explained it to them, usually in a situation like standing around at a gate for 12 hours with nothing else to do) they don’t own computers. They do, however, own phones as a necessity. We need to grow as a community and as a social movement. This phone (and the company behind it valuing and promoting Freedom instead of just open source) I see as a vehicle to bring massive amounts of people into the community who would otherwise likely not have been exposed to it. I think welcoming people used to fighting for every little thing would be a great addition to a community that fights for the users software Freedom. Also, when you think about it, the Librem 5 phone being a ‘gateway’ computer is pretty awesome too! I see this as the start of a new avenue for furthering software Freedom but, like all pioneers, those in the beginning will have a harder go of it than those who follow. Look around, the bank ads are probably right when they say “You’re richer than you think”. Good luck :slight_smile:


Thank you all so much for your support! Purism only exists thanks to great supporters like you guys. But you know Purism so you already knows that.

We have some experience in crowd-funding. It is the 4th one we do (the 3rd one for me as part of Purism). We have also been talking with the people at CrowdSupply, where we had our previous campaigns and we know that a crowd-funding campaign is not linear. It is very psychological and it goes through several phases. The current evolution of our campaign makes us believe that we are already in good position, ahead of the expected trend line to succeed.

Of course, it will be stressful until we pass that finish line. So going back to the first question : How to help?

The best way to help make sure we make it is to spread the word as much as you can.

  • If you have blogs, keep posting about the evolution of the campaign like you are commenting a live race (which it is).
  • Don’t hesitate to contact press around you, pointing them back to us. Don’t limit yourself to the world of technologies. For example, we can also find a great crowd of supporters in the world of sustainable development as we are privileging ethics and democracy to capitalism and private interest in our business model.
  • If you are fluent in a non English language, keep talking about us in this language and explain who we are to people, bloggers, journalists who speak this language. It is a worldwide campaign.
  • This is the world of freedom and the previous points are just ideas that I have on my mind, so be free to do whatever you want to help us. Make concept art, software design, UI mockups, drawings, songs, poems… Ask us for material if you need some.

This is a global effort and we will make it!


I’d love to do that. But the last update/blog-post to gloss about is from $250k, now hitting almost 700k! Please be more chatty there, about the HW progress, some potential partners, SW decisions,dealis with manufacturers, a new team members, what’s the weather like… basically anything, just issue more public statements

1 Like

crossed $700k, nearing 50%. If you have a PR team, please wake them up! Your OWN site needs some love (updates)

We do a lot of communication through the social networks and maybe not enough through our own blog. Our human resources are very limited though but we will work on improving that.


I believe FreeLove is talking about the “Updates” section right on the product page:
The latest update is the $250,000 marker.

But of course the blog as well. It’s good to see liveliness where you’re putting your cash.


Looks like it is time for another update, 50% mark crossed today, yay!


Regarding the comparison of the number of Librem phone pre-orders needed to reach the campaign target to the number of Librem laptops sold:

I am someone who watched the progress of the crowdfunding campaign for the laptops and never contributed to it and never bought one, but who has pre-ordered the Librem 5 phone.

The problem with the laptops, for me, was that they were too expensive and, ignoring the software freedom and privacy features, weren’t close enough to my desired specification for a laptop. In the end, even though software freedom was something I desired, I was willing to compromise on low-level software freedom and privacy (Intel blobs, UEFI BIOS, kill switches) to get something within my price range and with my desired spec. I wasn’t a purist.

When it comes to the Librem 5 phone, though, there nothing comparable on the market capable of running ‘proper’ GNU/Linux. That makes it the best option available to me, even if I’m not a software freedom purist. It’s also significantly cheaper than a Librem laptop and worth the cost if it kick-starts the availability of phones of its type.

If you want GNU/Linux on a laptop, you’ve got tons of options. If you want ordinary GNU/Linux on a phone (not Android, not Sailfish, etc) without spending potentially years of your life reverse engineering support for the hardware, you’ve got basically this one option.

I would therefore guess that the Librem phone has a bigger potential market than the Librem Laptops, though that’s just a hunch and not backed up by any research!

Regarding public relations:
I think it would be a good idea at this point to publish a graph of how the pledges have been coming in over time. When I couldn’t find one on the campaign page, I plotted one myself with the help of the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. Seeing the recent increase in the rate of pledges presented graphically spurred me on to make my own pledge. Having said that, perhaps somebody has done the research and found that graphs discourage pledging or something, and that’s why there isn’t one! (I don’t know, I’m just a layman!)

  1. Can you explain why the 1.5 million is the bare minimum goal? Could something slightly less awesome be achieved with a lower number?

  2. It would be great if there were more purchase options. For example I might buy and resell a few phones but I wouldn’t be able to afford 10 of them and wouldn’t need the enterprise support.

Close to 1 million with 19 days to go, which is 25k a day?
I believe Purism can get optimism up with the 1 million threshold likely to multiply momentum.

Edit : 1 .023 million on Oct 5th. @patch you asked a for a pledge graph I found this one. Current funding is around 10% higher than linear tendency.

1 Like

Looks like we passed the 100% mark!
There were a bunch of pledges for the $17999 and $19999 enterprise bundles, which helped a lot.
At this rate it doesn’t even seem completely impossible to reach the $4m stretch goal before the end of the campaign! (Bit of a long shot though.)


Opens a wine bottle
Cheers! :smile:


Thank you all! This is everyone’s success!