One Laptop Per Child was an extremely ambitious concept that was probably doomed from the start by it’s own noble ambitions.

The rollout of the little green machine was very chaotic, and now it appears that the project is starting the process of coming to an equally chaotic end.

Like many other nonprofits that are facing tough economic times, One Laptop per Child must downsize in order to keep costs in line with fewer financial resources. Today we are reducing our team by approximately 50% and there will be salary reductions for the remaining 32 people.

From the start of the quixotic project, it’s creator, director, and head cheerleader Nicholas Negroponte consistently told anyone who would listen that OLPC was all about education, not technology.

Unfortunately, he and the project had to exist in the real world where education is often a political football, not to mention a major income source for large technology companies who never liked the idea of some foundation trying to squeeze the profit out of laptops for kids.

Some are trying to spin this as an opportunity to reorganize and restart.

And the most important: we are not giving up. We, the community, will keep going as we can. We will help you, Dr. Negroponte, because we are inspired by the (original) vision of “One Laptop per Child”. We also, two-way process, need your help to make it happen, for the success of this project that you and we own together.

As much as I admire the goals of the OLPC project, I’m not sure there is much hope for this particular effort considering the world-wide economic mess.