Fire Sale – What Happened To Cisco’s Flip Camera?

Dang, it! This turned into alleged to be a story approximately a product achievement, not a product failure. Pure Digital created the low-cease enormously portable video digicam marketplace some years returned after which got offered out for a 1/2 one thousand million U.S. Bucks through the networking large Cisco. Cisco is full of smart, bright product managers and they need to had been capable of raising this a hit product into outer space. But they failed to and now the Flip video digital camera is going away, what took place?

Why I Loved The Flip Video Camera

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So I’m inclined to ‘fess up – I personal a Flip video digicam. In truth, I so fell in love with this product that I sold one early on while it becomes nevertheless owned by using Pure Digital. However, after some time of traveling around in my pocket all the time, the screen failed. I ended up getting a Kodak Zi8 to replace it in part because the Zi8 had a feature that the Flip in no way did – it had a jack that allowed it to be used with an external microphone.

I kept my eye at the Flip through the years due to the fact I was still seduced by means of its small length. I by no means again offered one surely as it by no means truly seemed to trade – the Flip that is being supplied these days positive looks the same as the Flip that I bought numerous years in the past. Sure, they’ve come out with an HD model and a few pretty “skins” that allow you to customize it, however, that appears to be approximately it.

What Went Wrong Between Cisco And The Flip

It appears as though the cause that the Flip product line did not do properly beneath control through Cisco is because of preventable units of situations: the Flip changed into an awful purchase selection for Cisco and then Cisco did a negative job of coping with the product once they had it. The product line might have been able to survive this type of mistakes, but it couldn’t conquer both of them.

The Wrong Decision

Cisco must now not have purchased the Flip product line. Sure, on the time it regarded like a very good concept. Cisco’s John Chambers introduced that Cisco becomes buying Pure Digital in order that they might sell products that could create content that might drive the want for bigger networks – Cisco’s core commercial enterprise.

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However, what became overlooked in all of the sparkling press releases turned into that Cisco offered Pure Digital now not because they had been in a first-rate “adjacent marketplace”, however instead because Cisco’s center enterprise changed into slowing. Because of this mistake, Cisco observed itself in a market that it genuinely didn’t recognize anything about – client electronics. The forces that drive this market are unlike those that power Cisco’s foremost organization networking market.

Additionally, Cisco concept that their logo call that conveys exceptional and innovation in the company market might help to sell greater Flip video cameras. It failed too. I, for one, don’t partner Cisco with domestic products and might alternatively purchase something from Sony or Apple before I’d buy something from Cisco. Finally, any thoughts that Cisco had about using the Flip product line to go sell its other products become a pipe dream. People who’re buying a US$100 video digital camera aren’t going to be the same people who buy a US$25,000 excessive-quit router.

Bad Product Decisions

Did I mention that the Flip product line appeared to be stuck in a time-warp? In the quick transferring discipline of consumer electronics, this is the worst factor that can show up. The Flip quite lots were given mowed over with the aid of the advent of smartphones: both Apple and Android merchandise keep getting higher and higher every couple of months at doing what the Flip does.

The Cisco product managers could have saved the Flip. Just like the parents over at MySpace, they might have specialized to store the delivery from happening. One manner to try this could be to work very toughly to contain social networking capabilities into the Flip. Just imagine if you could shoot a video of your dog barking a Christmas tune and then hit a button and have it routinely uploaded to each YouTube and your Facebook account. But that by no means came about.

Finally, the product never moved on. There turned into in no way a compelling excessive-give up Flip product that I saw in magazines that triggered me to pause and look longingly at (e.G. The iPad 2) considering what I should do with it. The Cisco product managers would have had to be careful here, but things like an excellent zoom lens, Wi-Fi connectivity, and perhaps even an apps shop only for the Flip might have done the trick. We’ll never recognize…

What All Of This Means For You

When a business enterprise desires to develop its bottom line, buying another company to get aa hit product sure looks like an easy way to make this show up. However, the extremely-successful Cisco has just proved that this may certainly be a risky manner to do things.

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Their purchase of the Flip video camera product line turned into wrong in several ways. Although the product was warm once they sold it, the destiny was already getting cloudy as smartphones kept getting smarter and inexpensive. The lack of any compelling high-end capabilities or social networking tie-ins decreased purchaser interest in carrying this greater digital machine. Finally, Cisco simply failed to know that an awful lot about the purchaser market that they have been stepping into.

In the cease it all comes down to doing the primary product manager homework that we’ve got all been taught to do. You need to check the market and recognize what need they are trying to fill. Then you want to test your product and make a few hard choices as to how you are going with the intention to fill that want higher than absolutely everyone else. It price Cisco over US$500M to analyze this lesson, allow’s desire that the rest people can study from their mistake.