Jeff Morgan examines Cisco’s decision to kill the Flip

Cisco took the embarrassing step of killing the Flip camera last week. Jeff Morgan digs into the entire episode and he isn’t very impressed with how the tech behemoth handled the entire affair.

To say that Cisco misunderstands the consumer tech market would be like saying NBA players misunderstand what constitutes consent. The company decided just over a week ago to kill off the Flip video, a line of consumer camcorders that Cisco purchased for some $590 million. The key word there is kill, as in kaput – no more Flip. Cisco isn’t even going to try to sell the camcorder line to another company, and probably for good reason – there isn’t a company on the planet that would buy it. Instead, Cisco is simply throwing it away, along with 550 jobs as part of an attempt to refocus the company.

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Cisco should have known better, too. For a company that has dealt with some level of consumer tech for more than 15 years (Linksys was founded in 1995), the Flip move was remarkably dumb. I would have loved to sit in on the meeting in which Cisco offered nearly $600 million for a product that had a very obvious expiration date in the very near future. How do you look at a company that keeps buying up smaller and smaller sensors and not think, ‘Gee, do you think some one will put this in a phone one day, fellas?’ As a matter of fact, let me lay this out for the neanderthals Cisco has running its investments – if you want to buy a piece of tech today, ask yourself whether or not it’s feasible to put that feature into a phone in the near future.

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