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Simple Or Versatile? Flip Demise Indicates Answer Is Now Both

April 27th, 2011 by Seth Kenvin

A Blog Post Too Late To Pioneer Our Own Clever Pun

Since we work in video technologies and publish a blog, it is obligatory that we post on Cisco’s closure this month of the Flip video camera line obtained through its 2009 Pure Digital acquisition, that was followed immediately by an ubiquitous celebrity-driven ad campaign. And now, the product is gone. And we’ve got some thoughts. But since it’s taken us a couple weeks to express those thoughts we can’t pioneer such clever blog puns as “Flipping switch on acquisition”, ”Cisco flipflops” nor  ”R.I.P. F.L.I.P.” — others have beaten us to all of those.

Around the time of the Pure Digital acquisition a lot of credit was directed towards the company for achieving the Flip’s popularity by taking quality equipment, an HD video camera, and refining to an enormously simple experience driven primarily by pushing a dominant centralized red button, on a compact & rugged device, that connects to computer with a buildt-in, flip-out USB dongle.

In video production there’s an oft-cited axiom: “good, fast or cheap — pick two”.  Pure Digital made a similar determination in its positioning by putting together good quality HD with easy use, at expense of providing a versatile device. And that initially worked as people frequently reserved a pocket for constant availability of capturing HD content, offsetting everything else (email, web, music, personal information management, games & more, even photography) being on smart phone on opposite pocket. But all those other things coming together elegantly seem to present Cisco the conundrum for Flip’s future. With increasingly good video capture & management on phones (better resolution, longer footage, immediate ability to sync & upload content wirelessly), just a couple years later consumers now seem to be able to “pick three” among quality, ease and versatility when recording video on smart phones.

The last few years have been breathtaking in the pace of technology impacting life, with Flip / Pure Digital a great case study. A “revolutionary” (per Wired magazine) leader in distilling multi-button handheld cameras to just a few prominent aspects on an even smaller device, seems to get truped within just a few quarters by what may have initially seemed an entirely different category of product.

We can relate to such challenges in building our own business. Market7 brings together applications for the content collaboration involved in pre-production, the content collaboration of post-production, and the project management throughout, believing that media production professionals don’t just want easy and good solutions for each of these in isolation — today’s technology user demands ease and quality for all of their needs integrated together in singular options, whether such considerations relate to handheld devices or collaborative workflows.

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Web Is The Operating System

November 30th, 2010 by Seth Kenvin

Consolidating video.Market7 to a single platform, for all devices

I’m catching up some this evening on tech news. Yammer, a provider of in-a-company social-networking software, which we’ve used, just raised $25 million, bringing its total funding to $40 million. Despite all of that funding, an interviewer still hammers the company on deficiencies in its offerings for Blackberry, iPhone and Android. This highlights a couple points:

  • One is the clear importance for collaborative software (like ours, in addition to Yammer’s) to support every user, at all times, in any place, on whatever device is in use.
  • Secondly, doing that through specific applications for specific environments is hard, even with $40 million.

Market7 is currently rallying fiercely towards complete support for mobile usage, but we are endeavoring to do so without compartmentalizing essential features to a variety of device-dependent applications. Instead we are doing it through standards-based web-access to rich features performing well within browsers on any device. This has always been a major element of the web’s promise, and a notion seeming to regain momentum as both the benefits and challenges of device-specific apps become apparent.

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Pads as phones as main platforms for all applications?

March 31st, 2010 by Seth Kenvin

Week Of Deep Thoughts Post #3

Five days after surgery and for first time some pain is felt. Nothing too acute, feels like a thigh bruise, a bit above the knee. Appointment with doctor tomorrow, we’ll see what he thinks. For now I’m tired & uncomfortable, so today’s deep thoughts are short.

Again staying with the news, the initial iPad reviews have been coming out today. Considering this platform, along with the energy that’s in Android & iPhone app development, some are speculating a future in which portable, wireless devices with minimal hardware peripherals, including no physical keyboard, will increasingly be the environment for all computing.

All computing of course includes a broadening range of activities. Watching video? Agreed that seems great on a pad that’s light, easily held & presents content brightly. But I’d rather write a blog post, even as short as this one, with the benefit of a keyboard. Laptops have been with us in just about their current forms for a long time now, I suppose two decades, and the hinged keyboard motif is due for some innovation before long. But right now the screen-only pad does not appear to provide a solution for many tasks that require not just consumption, but also user input & interaction including much on our video.Market7.

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