Archive Pen & Links

I still don’t understand why Cisco killed the Flip camcorder

April 14, 2011

“Cisco kills Flip Camcorder”

I read that headline Tuesday and wondered who forgot April Fool’s Day was long over. Flip is a huge brand for consumer camcorders and by some estimations was kicking the crap out of Sony and Kodak.

But there it was, clear as day. Last holiday’s top selling camcorder would be dissolved in the next few months in a reorganization.

Cisco says it’s trying to regain its focus and ditch extraneous brands. I can understand reorganizing to focus harder on tasks. I redesigned my desk the other day so I can design pages standing up instead of sitting in my chair to help me focus and be less lazy. But I didn’t ditch the Your Turn section on a whim. (In fact, there’s a big change coming to that page in a couple of weeks)

Why didn’t Cisco sell it off? To hold onto patents. I realize there’s a massive Cold War over patents where companies are aligning them like nukes against their competition. But to kill a productive brand like creates a level of cognitive dissonance that makes my head spin. Or maybe it’s just all the standing.