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Is the Quick Death of Failed Tech Products a Good Thing? 181

Posted by Soulskill
from the first-impressions-are-everything dept.
Joining the ranks of accepted submitters, HumanEmulator writes "The NY Times reports on how the Hollywood summer-movie business model is being applied to tech products: 'Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.' New products are being pulled from shelves only weeks after a lackluster release. What if the TouchPad, the Microsoft Kin, or even Google Wave had had more time on the market? Is this blockbuster-or-bust model a good thing for consumers, or for the industry in general?"
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Is the Quick Death of Failed Tech Products a Good Thing?

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  • by plover (150551) * on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:02AM (#37205426) Homepage Journal

    I knew a guy who started .com companies like popcorn. His business plan was the same for all of them: be successful enough until someone bigger buys you out. His goal was to work for a year at trying to get a thing going, then sell it for a couple million dollars for that short duration that it would be hot. Most of these things were very transient. They were unknown a month ago, on the rise a week ago, popular today, and by next month they probably wouldn't even be a memory.

    I think these big companies learned their lessons. They tried over and over to pump money into these little concepts that never had longevity as a part of their plans. They bled red ink.

    So if they don't see that initial wave, they're cutting the bleeding off now before they pump additional useless money into a concept that never will make it. It makes financial sense.

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Either I don't understand you, or that doesn't make any sense.

      Companies cut off product that don't have immediate success because products that have immediate success tend to have no longevity?

    • by elrous0 (869638) *

      Ha, I remember back in 2000, before the first internet bubble burst, Leo Laporte was talking about Dialpad [wikipedia.org] on Screensavers. When he explained how it gave long distance calling away for free, Patrick Norton asked him how they make money. Laporte laughed and said "Oh, nothing on the internet actually makes *real* money." That pretty much sums up the first internet bubble in my memory. You make your millions from investors and your IPO, then worry about the actual business model later.

      • It's also the second one except that investors know how to cash in (advertising). Still, the creators aren't thinking in terms of real money though, just cool ideas that attract a userbase. The money should sort itself out if there is a userbase that is significant.

        • by hedwards (940851)

          And at some point it's going to hurt folks with a real idea. I remember being burned by iwantsandy, I can understand needing to find revenue sources to pay for the cost of providing the service, but not giving the community a chance to pay or even giving any indication that he was about to fold operations was damaging to future attempts at doing that sort of thing. What's worse is that at the time of notice there wasn't an export utility nor were there any promises of one until folks raised a stink about it

        • Not to mention at some point there will be so many large sites out there that it will be hard to get enough of an audience to use a advertising revenue model. There is only so much marketing money out there and it is by definition a faction of companies budget.In my mind if your product provides real value than people should be spending real money on it even if it is larger than their marketing budget.

          Back to physical products: quick death not so sure. Processes to build them could be used elsewhere and c

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      it's throwing 1 billllliiiiiooon dollars into something that was done with couple of million a decade ago. you start going through the numbers in excel and realize you've been had and you paid many billions for linux with sdl.

      add to that a pre-built support organization, that you built needed you it or not because it was in the manual, also having acquired a very, very expensive organization to go with that linux with sdl and couple of default apps. that's what makes sleeper hits impossible, hard to justify

    • Investment strategy?

      Sounds to me more of an investment trap. i.e. you try and blow things out of proportion to try and gain more money until it's time to run off with the cash.

      Good things start from evolving from small beginnings as a good basic idea, that's the true start of great things.

    • by hitmark (640295)

      I think may be pandering to the stock market, as the modeling neoclassical economists apply there assumes that high risk equals high returns. Except that their models are about as real as D&D is medieval...

  • When you go fishing, you don't expect to catch 'em all. So what, and what is this silly article doing on Slashdot?

    The more options proffered, the more choice consumers can select from, and the more failed products those who like pottering with such things can exploit.

    No problem.

    • There are cases where choice isn't the best, such as where the value of a good or service lies in its interoperability. Some products are platforms that are valuable for the variety of complementary goods that can be used with them, such as personal computer operating systems and video game consoles. Other products are valuable for network effects that depend on the number of people whom you can reach using them, such as telephony, e-mail, and Internet social networking sites. A failed product will lack tho
    • As someone from the pokemon generation, I actually do expect to catch 'em all.

    • by idontgno (624372)

      Well, since you seem to want a fishing analogy, not many anglers just drop the lure into the water and reel in if there's no immediate hit. (Discounting working a lure that needs to be reeled in just to play it. I'm thinking like fly fishers or maybe good ol' fashion bobber and sinker fishing.)

      Anyway, some of these product introductions is like making one cast and then giving up on the entire pond after 15 seconds.

      • by Sockatume (732728)

        Well, since you seem to want a fishing analogy, not many anglers just drop the lure into the water and reel in if there's no immediate hit.

        They would if it cost them $1.5m a minute. (Microsoft, HP etc.) Of course if it's only costing you $10 an hour, then you can afford to relax. (Small startups.)

      • by c (8461)

        > Anyway, some of these product introductions is like making one cast
        > and then giving up on the entire pond after 15 seconds.

        If the guy in the boat next to you is using what looks like the same line, lure, bait, and boat and is pulling in 309 fish per second, it not actually be the dumbest strategy.

        • by idontgno (624372)

          Conceding a market is a rational response, assuming the market's already dominated pretty well. The smart time to do it is before introducing a product.

          Only the damnest fool of a fisherman dips a line in a lake that's already being strip-fished by half a dozen commercial fishing ships. Don't even get out of the car. Find another pool.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      you got it wrong - this leads to _LESS_ consumer choice. the products are on the market for a short while and if you're not buying in that while then you can't buy it ever. want a nice clamshell linux pda? should have bought when sharp was selling them.

      wanted a newton style pda in 2003? sorry no go.
      want a really good force feedback joystick? well fuck, ms made them in late '90s - now they'll sell you a xbox pad.

      want a pepperpad? better be ready to hunt ebay or some such and have lot's of luck. and still, th

  • The blockbuster-or-bust model is a good thing for banks, but a catastrophy for the producing tech industry in general.

    Product cycles have become too short for companies to financial absorb the eventual yet short-lived dips in sales.

    Companies should only be required to report per 12 months.

    Wall Street should not be allowed to do more than 6 transactions per company and 24h.

    • by Toonol (1057698)
      Wall Street should not be allowed to do more than 6 transactions per company and 24h.

      That's a little extreme. Do you mean no more than 6 transactions per day per buyer per stock?

      I'd be happy with just introducing a random delay of 1-10 seconds into every transaction.
  • The only people this is good for are the folks who swept into Best Buy and bought up a bunch of $99 Touchpads to sell for $250 on eBay.

  • If there was a multi-multi-million dollar ad campaign and there's no interest, you at least need to regroup.

    Winners never quit and quitters never win, but if you neither quit nor win you are just a fool.

    • by markhahn (122033)

      an ad campaign is no substitute for careful and/or intelligent pricing. most pad vendors are just being pricing idiots - that was clearly HP's problem.

  • This is really a marketing decision based on the strength of the brand of the company offering the product.

    A small company without a well-known brand may be more likely to keep a losing product alive (assuming it has other revenue streams) because there is no master brand to damage.

    However, a "big name" company like Apple, HP or Microsoft can't afford to have losers in their portfolio because those technologies hurt the master brand. So...they yank badly received tech quickly. This happens in plenty of ot

    • It sounds like the companies need to have "Farm brands" in the same way that sports teams have "Farm Teams" where potential talent can practice and be evaluated.

      Either by creating one de novo, or by using an aquisition's brand(the way HP uses 'Compaq' as a codeword for 'cheap consumer shit', while the decent stuff is "HP" or "HP-Compaq", depending on the product's history), products could be tried and eventually absorbed into the mothership if sufficiently successful, kept under the "farm brand" if unexc
  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:25AM (#37205894)

    48-49 days does NOT make a developer community. The Kin was an exception as there was no development community but HP did WebOS no favors. People aren't going to buy the damn thing if they can't get or program apps. This all started when Palm was REALLY LATE with the SDK. HP did it no favors, but it was right on the cusp of something that could have been cool.

    Leo Apotheker was and IS the WRONG person to lead HP. HP hasn't ever been about the high end servers for years. Sure, people bough Superdomes but IBM had far eclipsed HP in the amount of servers it sold. Sun did too (but still failed). Leo is going down the wrong path. HP made great calculators, printers and computers and was KNOWN for them. They made servers too but when was the last time you heard them talk about that? They had HPUX and Tru64. Did nothing with either.

    This is a sad sad road that HP went down and it might ultimately kill HP.

    • by robot256 (1635039)
      The only time I hear about HP servers is when our corporate bookkeeping system is "experiencing technical difficulties" and "we are working with the HP technicians to resolve the issue".
  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:27AM (#37205920)

    New products are being pulled from shelves only weeks after a lackluster release

    So now people will think: I'm not going to buy this new product in case they pull it, and I can't get support any more - or a software update - or a bug-fix.

    Once this becomes the established pattern, everyone will defer their purchases until at least version 2 (as most wise buyers do these days, anyway) just to see if the product has got a future. If products get pulled because nobody buys them - because they're all waiting to see if anyone *else* buys it, then the whole industry is in a downward spiral. The only way out would be to start applying serious bribes to reviewrs, if that doesn't already happen.

    • by seifried (12921)
      This is one of the reasons I go with Apple for my phone/tablet, on the phone side they have consistently supported phones for 3 or more years and on the tablet side it looks like it will be similar.
      • by petes_PoV (912422)

        on the phone side they have consistently supported phones for 3 or more years

        Though they were still selling the iphone 3g well into 2010 - only to "desupport" it when ios 4.3 came out less than a year later. So the trick seems to be: choose products that look like success and THEN buy them ASAP, as they can have a very, very short supported life if you leave it too long.

    • by tverbeek (457094)

      There's a similar pattern that plays out in the comics industry. Readers are reluctant to try a new series (meaning genuinely new series, not just another new title starring the X-Men or Batman) because they aren't sure whether it'll last long enough to tell the story the writer is setting out to tell. So they wait, perhaps for a collected edition of the first several monthlies into a paperback, which indicates that the publisher is committed to it. But because they're not buying the monthlies, the sales

      • by rjstanford (69735)

        Of course, if each monthly actually told a useful and interesting story itself, that worked together to form a bigger story arc, that problem just wouldn't exist... If you're going to serialize something, each episode needs to be able to stand-alone - this applies in many other industries, so why should comics be any different? If something needs all n portions to be readable, why not release them all together?

  • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:28AM (#37205950) Homepage

    The problem with the examples given (TouchPad, the Microsoft Kin, and Google Wave) is that they were ultimately not great products. Not only should they have been yanked, but they really shouldn't have been offered in the first place. I say that not having actually used the TouchPad, but having had experience with WebOS and being generally unimpressed.

    And... well... it's not necessarily so much that they're bad products, but that they're marketed poorly. Most of you will misunderstand and think that I mean that they weren't advertised well, but marketing is a different thing. A large part of marketing is determining that there is a market, determining what that market wants/needs, and then building/adjusting a product to meet those wants/needs. None of that was done very well with any of these products.

    The Kin, for example, was a semi-smart phone released into a world where people generally either want smartphones or they want dumb-phones, and even the people who want dumb-phones are dying out. Since the smart phones have been so successful, there is a big demand and development community for smartphone apps, and there's a limit to how many incompatible platforms are going to be supported. As a result, the whole world is being divided into iOS and Android, and if you want to compete, you have to offer something compelling enough to displace one of the two big guys. The TouchPad suffered from the same thing: it was developed for a market that didn't exist. The world is all Android and iOS, and there isn't really a market for a 3rd platform at the same price point with no compelling advantages.

    Google Wave had a different problem: it never defined what problem it was trying to solve. Was it a collaborative document editor, a replacement for email, or a weird IM client? I used Google Wave for several months, and I still don't know. They also launched a communications platform on an invite-only basis, which meant that you didn't have anyone to communicate with. By the time they had a wide release, everyone had already given up.

    In each case, I wouldn't say it's an issue of the developer/manufacturer giving up too soon. The problem is that they didn't give up soon enough.

    • I haven't used the others, but I bought a Touchpad for $99. It's fine. A $7 app plays all the downloaded TV shows I have, the built-in browser views all the websites I tried without any problems, including embedded flash video, a kindle app is free, a facebook app is free, there's a decent free weather app, it's got Angry Birds, and a developer mode is easy to enable which gives access to the homebrew apps and custom kernels.

      Sure there are minor feature additions that would be nice, but on the whole it's

      • I wouldn't pay full price for it, but then I wouldn't pay full price for the iPad or Transformer either.

        Well but that's kind of my point when I said they weren't necessarily "bad products" but they were products without a market. Obviously there's a market for $500 iPads because Apple is selling them at a healthy pace, but you aren't part of that market. You're also not part of the $500 TouchPad market, and you're not alone-- there is no market for $500 TouchPads. Your market-- the "I want a $500 tablet for $100" market-- obviously exists, but there's no business model for that unless you're subsidizing it

  • The trouble here is that some of these are bad examples. The Kin wasn't a bad idea, when it was first ready for release. It's the 18 month delay to retool it to run on Windows that actually killed the product. Released on time with what they had initially? Who knows.

    The TouchPad was released at the same price as the iPad but isn't as good. Who thought that would work?

    Pleanty of products still get time to mature. Android itself wasn't a massive success day 1, but has gained traction steadily and is huge now.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      The Kin was not a good idea. It was what a sales guy thought people wanted to do with the net. As opposed to a device that lets people do what they want to do. It was like watching your parents try to be cool and modern. Just...painful.

      However the Kin was cute.

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      Electric cars were very popular in the 1920s when diesel cars had only recently been invented, were very noisy, smelly and difficult to start, and their main competitor the steam car took about 20 minutes for the boiler to heat up and had a similar range to electric. A lot of people don't realise that electric cars were invented about 50 years before internal combustion engine cars.

      Elecrtric trains are pretty popular and generally outperform diesel models because they can get their electricity directly fro

  • Arguably, the degree of goodness or badness really depends on how 'tightly-coupled' a product is:

    By 'tightly-coupled' I mean an(admittedly rough) measure of how tightly integrated the product is to ancillary products, services, drivers, support, etc.

    Something like, say, the Dell "Inspiron 15 (N5040)" would be 'loosely-coupled'. Other than BIOS updates, which can only be Dell-provided, virtually all related software and likely services would be unaffected by its discontinuation: You can still trivially
  • A Silicon Valley saying. We deal with failure better than success because we see more of it. The trick has always been to move on quickly and try again. Michael
  • Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday August 25, 2011 @09:46AM (#37206258) Homepage Journal

    Example of products that where not smash hits and are still moving forward.
    1. Bing. It is still has a small market share but Microsoft keeps putting resources into it and it is growing.
    2. XBox. The first XBox didn't make a profit but the 360 looks like it finally has.
    3. Windows Phone 7 "I don't think this is ever going to be more than a poor 3rd place myself but they are till pushing it".
    4. Android. Remember the G1. It didn't sell that well and was only on TMobile in the US.
    5. PS3 After the mad launch rush it sales just slowed. The Wii was the big hit and the 360 was out first and sold well. Sales of the PS3 are still improving even now.

    Of the other products mentioned well let's take a look at them
    The Kin. It wasn't WP7 it had no real apps, it was tied to an expensive data plan. Yes it stank out of the box. Microsoft really did a good job killing Danger after they spend a pile of money to buy them.
    Google Wave. I tried to find a use for the tech but I just couldn't It was kind of neat but didn't have a good use case for a lot of people.
    Touchpad. This one was murdered in it's crib. HP bought Palm and then the CEO was kicked out in a scandal. His replacement had no interest in the consumer market. Palm had three products in the works and those where the Pre III, the TouchPad, and the Veer. HP dragged their feet on those and took a year to get them out the door! What??? WebOS is actually are really good OS but HP again shipped it on old hardware! Of course the new CEO is also going to spin of the PC division as well. Of course you have to love HP not wanting to risk the long term investment in Palm so instead they took a 12 billon dollar stock hit.

    • by azadrozny (576352)
      Remember the Apple Newton. A good product, but was before its time. I wonder how many of these failed products will inspire technology that has yet to be developed.
      • by Samus (1382)

        The Touchpad won't. The card ui is nice but I haven't found much else innovative about it so far. HP failed to generate hype around it, they failed to generate much of dev community and they failed to put out hardware as good as the ipad and priced it at the same amount. At $200 dollars less than the ipad it would have been a compelling proposition because I could take the money and pop it into apps and accessories.

        • by LWATCDR (28044)

          The card UI is more than nice.
          Lets' face it as far has hardware goes a tablet leaves little to no room for innovation. Every one knows the specs that must be in a tablet.
          1. An ARM CPU.
          2. Mulitouch with a touch screen.
          3. Some flash and some ram.
          4. a battery.
          5. Wifi.
          6. A front facing camera.

          If you are going to add mobile support it will add a cell radio+gps.
          About the only option will be microSD and or a camera on back. As I said the HP failure with Palm was caused by a lack of any vision or passion for the ma

  • Movie blockbusters are a human stampede, and occur for ephemeral reasons -- people are going to see a movie, the question is which one, and the answer is mostly the one they can talk about with others.

    Choosing assets such as communicating and computing machinery is a much larger investment with much longer usage/payoff period. There is going to be more research, and a longerinitial adoption period. The Wii and especially Android are examples.

    Demanding instant success (Wall$t HF junkies) is the same as dema

  • Just recently talked to a person who is related to the consumer electronics business (website java) who confirmed that for instance TV-sets have to be updated each half year (in Europe), otherwise 'shareholder-value' would be in danger because negative ratings ('not able to innovate') were the consequence of a more sensible product cycling.

    CC.

    • by 0123456 (636235)

      It's almost like cars in America having to change the grille and cupholders every year so they can claim it's a new model.

  • If it's unique and new and people aren't quite capable of justifying it yet, it'll take off slowly. Just look at the early days of DVR.

    If it's a "me too attempt" at competing with something out there using a similar product - it becomes quickly apparent whether you've got what it takes to "stay in the game" (Android) or you don't (WebOS, Blackberry PlayBook). If upon release your product simply sucks and gets killed by reviewers for being incomplete - then it deserves to die. This was the case for the To

  • by SCHecklerX (229973) <thecaptain@captaincodo.net> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @10:38AM (#37207096) Homepage

    The touchpad was simply overpriced. If HP had sold it for, say $150 for 16GB, and $200 for 32GB, it may have sold better to begin with. The crazy rate that everyone sold out of all stock means that there are now a whole lot of WebOS tablets in people's hands now. App developers saw a huge spike in downloads after the sale. Getting WebOS out there, people will see what it is like and perhaps not settle for the inferior interfaces of Android and iOS.

    HP's own tablet making may be dead. WebOS isn't quite done yet. Wouldn't it be cool if Dell got into the tablet business and licensed WebOS for them...

    • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 25, 2011 @10:47AM (#37207222)

      No it was priced right according to iSuppli who did the teardown. If HP sold it at $150 there would have been a loss on each device sold.

      http://www.isuppli.com/Teardowns/News/Pages/HP-TouchPad-Carries-$318-Bill-of-Materials.aspx [isuppli.com]

      They probably COULD have saved money somewhere, but they already chintzed on the plastic in the back.

      The real problem is there were no apps. There was no real push by Palm OR HP on gaining developers. At least not one like there should have been. Plus the SDK was REALLY late. By that time, Palm was already dead in the water, HP picked them up and did NOTHING with them.

      • The thing that got me was the ABSOLUTE SILENCE after the sale of Palm to HP. If this were Apple, they would have kept the hype building from that point forward until product release. Ads would have been taken out, prototypes shown, and bloggers paid to rave about the new thing. It would have reached a fever pitch before release, and then the quality of the product versus the price would not have mattered so much.

        HP did not really fail so much as the heart of the company was not invested in it. They ha
        • by hitmark (640295)

          Except that Apple do no such thing (outside of the paying bloggers part, but sadly there is no way to prove that).

          Instead they keep deathly quiet, but ever so often there is a "leak" so some "rumor"-page that goes "Product X may show up in time for some holiday or other and may have feature Y!!!".

          The ads only show up when a product is good and ready to be sold, after Apple have invited the press faithfuls and Jobs have delivered his superlative-soaked presentation.

          Sometimes i wonder if the "leaks" are cover

      • by Shompol (1690084)
        The loss (overhead) already happened when they invested in R&D and established manufacturing pipeline. Selling it for any price at that point would have been profit (before counting overhead, which was gone by then either way). There is no need to let it all go to hell for $99 when it would go like hotcakes for $250.
      • iSupply is wacked. The price would be less than $100.00 based on components in lots of 1000.
        The prices listed in the BOM look like off-the-shelf component costs.

        For example, here's the TOTAL comsumer cost for a new 27' TV...
        http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824001431&nm_mc=OTC-Froogle&cm_mmc=OTC-Froogle-_-Monitors+-+LCD+Flat+Panel-_-SAMSUNG-_-24001431

        There is no way a tablet is going to be priced MORE than the above monitor.

        Or how about this TOTAL consumer part...
        http://www.newe

    • by markhahn (122033)

      the manufacturing cost for any 10" capacitative tablet is about $300 - if HP had chosen to sell at $150, it would have been a loss-leader. that's still an intelligent strategy, though obviously only as _part_ of a plan.

      HP, like other tablet vendors, seems to have seen Apple making money and said "we want some of that". so they produced a more-or-less comparable tablet and blithely assumed that they could sell it at Apple prices. but regardless of Apps, or whether HP's product was technically at par, we a

  • The 3DS is a great gaming device (I've played at least 5 games for over 20 hours each) and will get better as more games are released. The previous generation of consoles took up to a year or longer to establish themselves but the doomsayers came out in droves when the 3DS *only* sold 3.6 million within its first few months (and in a non-holiday time frame) instead of the 4 million that Nintendo was hoping for. Luckily, instead of pulling it off the shelves, Nintendo has cut the price (leading to a massi
  • The problem is they're trying to imitate an already established or hot product. Imitating is fine if you can keep the price well below the 'original' product or you make massive innovations to it. Microsoft Kin and HP TouchPad were not only knockoffs, they were bad knockoffs with inferior UI, software and performance and cost as much as the original.

    The Android model has fared better because it's going on much cheaper phones and a lot larger choice of phones (sometimes even better phones) than the iPhone an

  • A movie is taking up very expensive real estate. It requires a large screening room, with several employees to manage it. Further, the movie is selling not just itself, but the snacks that go along with it. (And that's actually most of where the theater makes its profit; it's showing the movie nearly at cost.)

    A tech product can moulder on the shelf, waiting to be discovered. A movie really can't. Netflix has shifted that pattern a bit, but only a bit.

    In other words... these are apples and oranges.

    • by clodney (778910)

      A tech product can moulder on the shelf, waiting to be discovered. A movie really can't. Netflix has shifted that pattern a bit, but only a bit.

      A tech product can moulder on a virtual shelf, but not on a physical shelf. Every foot of space in a brick and mortar store is expected to bring in revenue. If a product is taking up 10 feet of shelf and not selling, the retailer will fill those 10 feet of shelving with something that will sell.

  • Some years ago (three? Four?) I bought a 1st gen iPod touch. I enjoyed it in the beginning. Just a year later I wanted a new skin for it and found all the skins fit Gen 2 and not Gen 1. A year and a half later Apple was releasing a version of iOS that wouldn't work with my 1st gen and three months after that I found that many of the apps I wanted to use were incompatible.

    This keeps me in Windows 7 laptops and netbooks because a 1.5 year lifespan on a $600 product is nuts, in my opinion. With windows
    • Before someone replies to this, I realize I was comparing forward compatibility to backward compatibility there. My point should have been that the PC I bought with windows XP five years ago has Windows 7 now and still runs any application I would like to put on it. Likewise, I am running three year old laptops with Windows 7. That is a much better use of my money.
  • Kind of like the tv shows. Nowhere Man lasted only 1 season, years ago, but that was still 22 episodes. There are shows today that get canceled after 3 episodes. Perhaps they should be left out there a little longer to give them a chance to build public interest. I see this in a lot of things, tech, tv, movies, for example.

  • Because it leaves users with no way to interface with said tech product in order to access and restore data. Outdated support software (drivers, client software, etc) will no longer work on new OSes, and eventually even though the tech product still functions, it is effectively useless. If a tech product is considered failed, its interface documents should be made public domain so that the community may support the device so that it does not end up as garbage and waste, and so that the users may recover t
  • HP decided they couldn't compete at manufacturing a tablet so they killed it. WebOS still exists and may resurface as a licensed OS on 3rd party tablets from companies who know a bit about manufacturing.

    HP appears to have decided that, in most cases, manufacturing technology products is a losing proposition and appears to have decided to remake itself as a software / IT consulting firm. It remains to be seen if they are successful or just become another company that gets bought out and disappears.

  • Rapid product turnaround is only a symptom of the real problem. Somewhere along the road it was discovered that riding the bubbles makes a quick buck and that enough quick bucks makes a business. Now you have 400 companies at the startup pony races. The company that plods along focusing on long term results, reputation, employee satisfaction, and making a great product tends to be ignored by all those gamblers. And those companies are quietly sitting on the sidelines pulling in cash at low risk. You won't
  • It makes sense to pull a movie that's not making money because the exhibitor can make more money by filling that theater with another movie. And the investment in a movie's release ends at its release. Even if you do pull it from theaters you have secondary markets in TV, video, and on-demand services. You only need to provide one copy and many people can consume it.

    With a manufactured product you have a large productive system built to make only that product, and shutting it down before giving its produ

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