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

Dang, it! This becomes alleged to be a story about a product success, now not a product failure. Pure Digital created the low-quit exceptionally portable video digicam market a few years again, after which they were given sold out for a 1/2 a thousand million U.S. Dollars via the networking large Cisco. Cisco is filled with smart, brilliant product managers, and they have to had been capable of raising this a successful product into outer space. But they didn’t, and now the Flip video digicam goes away; what passed off?

Why I Loved The Flip Video Camera

So I’m willing to ‘fess up – I personal a Flip video digicam. In reality, I so fell in love with this product that I bought one early on when it turned into still owned by using Pure Digital. However, after a while of visiting around in my pocket all of the time, the display screen failed. I ended up getting a Kodak Zi8 to update it in the element because the Zi8 had a function that the Flip never did – it had a jack that allowed it for use with an external microphone.

I saved my eye at the Flip over the years because I changed into nonetheless seduced through its small size. In no way once more offered one virtually as it actually seemed to change – the Flip this is being supplied today sure seems similar to the Flip that I offered several years ago. Sure, they have got pop out with an HD model and some quiet “skins” that help you customize it, but that seems to be approximately it.

What Went Wrong Between Cisco And The Flip

Cisco is a smart organization. They hire smart product managers. Something went incorrect right here. Brian Chen and Chunka Mui have taken a near examination of what took place here, and it’s now not quite. It appears as although the purpose that the Flip product line didn’t do properly underneath control by way of Cisco is because of preventable sets of situations: the Flip become a horrific purchase choice for Cisco, and then Cisco did a negative activity of dealing with the product after they had it. The product line might have been capable of telling the tale of any such errors, but it couldn’t overcome both of them.

The Wrong Decision

Cisco should no longer have bought the Flip product line. Sure, at the time, it was regarded as a good idea. Cisco’s John Chambers announced that Cisco changed into buying Pure Digital to sell products that would create content that might drive the want for bigger networks – Cisco’s center commercial enterprise.

However, what was overlooked in all the sparkling press releases was that Cisco bought Pure Digital now, not because they have been in a splendid “adjacent marketplace.” Still, alternatively due to the fact, Cisco’s center commercial enterprise was slowing. Cisco discovered itself in a market because of this error that it truly failed to realize something approximately – consumer electronics. The forces that force this marketplace are not like people who power Cisco’s primary agency networking market.

Flip Camera

Additionally, Cisco’s brand name that conveys quality and innovation inside the agency marketplace would assist in selling greater Flip video cameras. It didn’t. I, for one, do not partner Cisco with home merchandise and could rather purchase something from Sony or Apple before I’d buy something from Cisco. Finally, any mind that Cisco had approximately using the Flip product line to sell its different products was a pipe dream. People who are shopping for a US$a hundred video digital camera aren’t going to be equal to those who buy a US$25,000 high-end router.

Bad Product Decisions

Did I point out that the Flip product line regarded to be caught in a time-warp? In the quick-moving subject of purchaser electronics, that is the worst component that may show up. The Flip pretty a great deal were given mowed overusing the advent of smartphones: each Apple and Android products preserve getting higher and better each couple of months at doing what the Flip does.

The Cisco product managers ought to have stored the Flip. Just like the parents over at MySpace, they could have specialized in saving the delivery from happening. One manner to try this could have been to work very hard to incorporate social networking capabilities into the Flip. Just believe if you can shoot a video of your canine barking a Christmas tune and then hit a button and have it mechanically uploaded to both YouTube and your Facebook account. But that never passed off.

Finally, the product in no way moved on. There became by no means a compelling high-end Flip product that I saw in magazines that brought about me to pause and look longingly at (e.G. The iPad 2) considering what I may want to do with it. The Cisco product managers could have had to be cautious right here. However, things like an amazing zoom lens, Wi-Fi connectivity, and perhaps even an apps shop only for the Flip might have completed the trick. We’ll by no means recognize.

What All Of This Means For You

When an organization desires to grow its bottom line, buying another enterprise to get a hit product sure looks like a simple manner to make this show up. However, Cisco’s ultra-a success has simply proved that this can surely be a risky way to do things.

Their purchase of the Flip video camera product line changed into incorrect in numerous methods. Although the product changed into hot after they bought it, the destiny was already getting cloudy as smartphones saved getting smarter and less expensive. The lack of any compelling high-quit functions or social networking tie-ins reduced client hobby in wearing this greater electronic system. Finally, Cisco failed to recognize that plenty of the patron market that they were stepping into.

In the end, all of it comes right down to doing the simple product manager homework that we’ve got all been taught to do. You need to check the marketplace and understand what needs they are trying to fill. You need to take a look at your product and make some hard selections as to how you are going so that you can fill that need better than every person else. It cost Cisco over US$500M to research this lesson, permit’s desire that the relaxation of us can learn from their mistake.

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