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  1. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #21  
    Originally posted by SeldomVisitor
    [One thing I =do= pay attention to - intimately - is the financial side of HAND (and now PALM)]

    Hawkins filed a disclosure back in February saying he and his Brain Institute would each be selling 2 million shares of HAND stock over a year's period at about 38,000 shares each per week - said sales were theoretically going to be done by an independent broker (that is, without feedback by Hawkins on WHEN during the week to sell).

    Is this sinister?
    Sinister would imply unlawfull intention among other. I didn't characterize it as such. But I certainly think it's a dubious move for a company that struggles to keep things on their ends meet to fund a highly theoritical works that have no relationship to its core competency. What would be the tangible result to all that? Neither the long term continuity of the institutes research nor Handspring survival can be guaranteed with this strategy. Few seminar and a couple of neatly printed paper in an obscure publication? Then why not make seminars and pay somebody to write the papers and skip the institute altogether.

    I don't think so (though I think HAND, PALM, and now PALMHAND are doomed as independent companies) since Hawkins is a part-timer (and will remain so with PALMHAND) - it makes sense that someone not in total control of his destiny might want to take some off the table (let's see what Dubinsky does shortly AFTER the merger - she's only on the board of directors at that point and her billion dollar wealth is largely paper, not real).
    HS entire existence will translate to about a third of a yet to be completed company. And from the gist of it, PSG still has a lot of thing to answer in regard to its viability when the Palmsource is really an independent company (not that anybody actually believe this thing) What will Sony do? How come HS didn't get a single share of PSRC, while Sony seems to be a significant player. (ie. What is Handspring after the merger? just a unit to a hardware company that might fold or become a minor player in a harsh consumer market space?)

    Note, however, that Hawkins GAVE his Brain Institute the 2 million shares that the Brain Institute is now selling, thus actually disposed (is disposing) of =4= million of his shares.

    This...ahem...diversification of his portfolio has nothing to do with the merger since the decision to merge was made well after the filing of the SEC docs for these sales - note, however, that the decision to diversify could be STRONGLY based on the same reasons FOR the merger since the history of at least the initial merger thought (see the S-4, page 50+-ish I think) predates February 2003. Now THAT could be taken as being sinister. [/B]
    ....does anybody even know why it makes financial sense to bail ou... i mean merge with Hand?

    If I am the guy at that brain institute, first order of business will be to create mathematical analysis of the institute source of income. lol

    The brain can wait and it's been chugging along reliably for several million years, I am sure it'll still be there when the institute is done figuring out how to save itself and HAND.

    A billion buck plus of cold cash for this? jees.... That sure was one big bubble.
  2. #22  
    Originally posted by JakeE

    It appears in many ways, to date, I am the president of Jeff Hawkins fan club and I want to make certain I am careful when I post a detailed review of my findings.

    I can share with you the fact that I uncovered many interesting insights that I am certain you will enjoy hearing about. In many ways my meeting with Jeff Hawkins was kind of like The Wizard of Oz…You could call it: The Wizard of Palm.
    You know, I think I'm as much of a fan of the Treo as anyone else here, but this unabated, unadulterated cheerleading and idolatry of Jeff Hawkins just makes me sick! Yes, yes...he was instrumental in the founding of Palm, he created the 1st commercially viable pda, he's the king of minimalism (which afflicted PSG for many years), he carried around that block of wood in his pants for week..great! It's all very cute and interesting and written in that book "Piloting Palm" as WHEATHIN mentioned. But that book ended with the founding of Handspring and alot of things, mostly bad, have happenned to the company since. Why do you not ask him about some of these things instead or at least in addition to all this sycophancy? There's been quite a few questionable business decisions that I think he should answer! How can he justify the pathetic financial state of his company today? How can one explain that a company such as Handspring that once was the #2 PDA company in the world has now been reduced to seeking salvation by merging with its chief rival? What about all those 100,000 unsold treos laying around? Why wasn't the Treo series a success? Why did they have to abandon the pda business and soley venture into smartphones so abruptly? Didn't they massively and thus egregiously mis-predict the future growth of the smartphone segment which has landed them in the present condition? Was it worth abandoning all those visor owners? Why didn't they at least try to release a OS 5.x Prism/Visor or even Treo90? What was the point of going full throttle into the smartphone business when the segment was still nacient and immature? Why didn't they slowly phase out the pda business so in order to have at least some cash flow?! Is this just an example of poor business timing?

    Anyway, I could go on and on, but those are just a few of questions that I think he should answer. However...look, overall I tend to agree with the concept and belief that the smartphone (convergence) segment is the future of the company. Recent studies this one show that the smartphone segment is exploding:

    Within the volume of worldwide handset shipments, the market for converged handheld devices, or 'smartphones,' continues to accelerate. In the second quarter of 2003, the worldwide converged handheld device market grew 330.7% year-over-year and 12.0% sequentially to 1.97 million units. The converged device market now makes up 1.7% of the total mobile phone market, compared with only 0.5% in the same quarter one year ago.
    Other studies predict that by 2007 smartphones shipments will represent nearly 5% of all handsets reaching 45 million/year. Sales of smartphones are definitely affecting the PDA industry as that segment stagnates, while in the future the proportion of smartphones of world wide handset sales will continue to rise and eventually become dominant. Thus, it totally makes sense for Handspring to think its better to get 2-3% of the future 300 million smartphone industry than remain #2 in a declining PDA industry of only ~14 million sales. The problem is that Handspring as an independent company will not! Of course there are many people (including myself) who will say that the merger with Palm is great and that there are lots of synergies and etc. But the point is that recent busines decisions by Handspring made this eventuality a fact of necessity and survival, not future synegy. The questinable business decisions that caused this situation to occur should be held accountable IMO...
    Last edited by Gaurav; 08/10/2003 at 04:50 PM.
    _________________
    aka Gfunkmagic

    Current device: Palm Pre
    Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Axim X50v, Treo 800w



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  3.    #23  
    Gfunkmagic:

    I am not cheerleading for Jeff Hawkins per se. I am cheerleading for his work product which I think is better than anything else anyone else has produced to date.

    I very much understand what you and Purple X are saying, and I hope to shed substantial light on this issue in my upcoming article.

    Jake
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  4. #24  
    Originally posted by purpleX

    HS entire existence will translate to about a third of a yet to be completed company. And from the gist of it, PSG still has a lot of thing to answer in regard to its viability when the Palmsource is really an independent company (not that anybody actually believe this thing) What will Sony do? How come HS didn't get a single share of PSRC, while Sony seems to be a significant player. (ie. What is Handspring after the merger? just a unit to a hardware company that might fold or become a minor player in a harsh consumer market space?)
    Ska, the sequence of events will be PalmSource spin-off from PSG 1st, then Handspring merger with PSG. Thus handspring will have nothing to do with Palmsource or its shares. The reason Sony has a stake in Palmsource is b/c it invested $20 million bucks into the subsidiary some time ago. This has nothing to do with the merger or anything else. One clear advantage of the new merged company will be reduced lisencing costs of the OS.


    ....does anybody even know why it makes financial sense to bail ou... i mean merge with Hand?


    Two words: Treo 600. Even though you probably can't or refuse to believe it. This will undoubtedly be a very successful and important product. PSG probably knew about the Treo600 during merger talks and is probably the #1 reason they agreed to the acquisition. This coupled with handspring's experiences and realtionships with wireless providers wa probably enough for PSG. In fact, it was probably important for PSG to get handspring b/c they were themselves woefully behind developing their own smartphone device. In fact David Nagel said PSG was a year behind others in development...
    Last edited by Gaurav; 08/10/2003 at 07:52 PM.
    _________________
    aka Gfunkmagic

    Current device: Palm Pre
    Device graveyard: Palm Vx, Cassiopeia E100, LG Phenom HPC, Palm M515, Treo 300, Treo 600, Treo 650, Treo 700p, Axim X50v, Treo 800w



    Please don't PM me about my avatar. For more info go here.

    Restore your Pre to factory settings using webos doctor and follow these instructions
  5. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #25  
    exactly, why that particular arrangement? It could have easily been something, more gain for Palm even.

    a lot of naughty theory and speculation are being proposed to explain this rather amusing merger idea.
  6. #26  
    What ARE they going to do with all those unsold Treos? I can't wait to see what happens with the Treo line after the merger. I do believe that the best is yet to come!

    Jake, I'm looking forward to reading your article "The Wizard of Palm!" Does this make you Dorothy in the saga? I'm also interested in finding out how a clothing designer hooked up a meeting with the Wizard, Jeff Hawkins. Are you going to design clothes for him now too? Something wizardly perhaps?
    Last edited by RayUSA; 08/13/2003 at 07:01 PM.
  7. #27  
    Originally posted by WHEATHIN



    The Palm OS is so much better than the Pocket PC. Who wants to run windows on their palm?


    I totally agree with you. I hate running windows on my pc-so why should I run it on my pda? But how did this discussion get to stock and the merger? I think that the merger is a very good thing for the palm operating system and palm os pdas. After the merger there will really only be two big palm makers, Palm and sony, who don't really compete. Sony's big clies are its high end models, which are the nicest anywhere. A two megapixal camera! Sure it costs 800$. Palm/Handspring on the other hand make the lower cost palm for the people who aren't millionairs, such as the Palm Zire. I think that after this merger palm will be in a much better position to take on microsoft.
    "Matters of great concern should be taken lightly, matters of small concern should be taken seriously."
    -ancient chinese adage
  8. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #28  
    ...or you could have one slightly larger screwed company built from two screwed companies...

    It is just as possible, in fact it is likelier knowing the two companies financial track.
  9. jegs2's Avatar
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    #29  
    Thanks for the article(s), Jake. Was unaware that there were bigger Star Wars nuts out there than me (I bought that Lego ISD set -- the $250 one)...

    My dad put it best about the Pocket PC -- It's an answer to a question that nobody asked.

    Unfortunately, I'll be deployed when the 600 is released (cursed timing), but my wife will probably order it in my absence, and it will at long-last replace my Visor with Digital Link, which has served me well...
    John 3:16-18

    Handspring Visor Prism w/Digital Link -> Palm Treo 600 -> Sprint PPC 6700 -> Palm Centro -> Blackberry Tour -> Blackberry Bold 9780 -> Blackberry Torch -> Palm Treo 755p -> BlackBerry Bold 9930
  10. veroi's Avatar
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    #30  
    Hey!! I am a fan of the TREO family but I agree with someone here at the thread that stated lets not get overboard. Some items that hopefully the interview touch are maybe:

    1) Why was Jeff always opposed to color screens and stated in a written interview that no one would ever want color screens.
    2) He also dismissed the idea of ring tones, also stated in a written article, no its a $600 Million dollar business.
    3) Also Visor springboard and the Visor Edge were huge failures.
    4) He also was opposed of memory expansion and other stuff for the devices and other people in Palm and Handspring had to battle with him to get this included.

    Jeff had innovation with the original US Robotics devices, but currently he is catching up. That the Treo 600 will be a good device no doubt he has a hell of a team making him realize that people do not want the "simple" device he sees as necessary.

    I like that someone going out and pursuing an interview with Jeff H because it is always great to hear their vision for the future and past experiences. But I would like to also interview the man behind the Sony Efforts. Sony gave Palm OS a new life with their new devices pushing the envelope in technical features and new designs , CREATIVITY. It is always great to hear from all that make a difference and Sony made a difference.
  11. #31  
    The tension of "a hell of a team making him realize that people do not want the 'simple' device he sees as necessary" and Jeff's committment to simplicity is exactly the type of group I want designing my phone/pda/life accessory. The truth is we need both, and singling out Jeff for his committment to simplicity without taking into account his ability to compromise with the team he's leading, is I think, a little short sighted. No offense. javascript:smilie('')

    The world is a bunch of poles (as in opposite ends), poles that no one truely wants to live on. The truth is we all want to live somewhere between the poles. For example, women are generally "touchy feely", men are generally "objective and logical", but neither extreme is what we really want (hence we fall in love and marry). Just like no one wants just stripped down simplicity, or just a bunch of hard to use features. It's the struggle that makes the lasting result. I beleive the Jeff & Team struggle is what makes their products great, just as the struggle of communication and loving negotiation makes a marriage.

    In summary, it's each side's extreme ideals combined with a willingness to negotiate that makes the (near) perfect result.

    My three cents. - Justin


    1) Why was Jeff always opposed to color screens and stated in a written interview that no one would ever want color screens.
    2) He also dismissed the idea of ring tones, also stated in a written article, no its a $600 Million dollar business.
    3) Also Visor springboard and the Visor Edge were huge failures.
    4) He also was opposed of memory expansion and other stuff for the devices and other people in Palm and Handspring had to battle with him to get this included.

    Jeff had innovation with the original US Robotics devices, but currently he is catching up. That the Treo 600 will be a good device no doubt he has a hell of a team making him realize that people do not want the "simple" device he sees as necessary.
  12. #32  
    Very well said! You're 50% increase in cost (3 cents instead of 2) was more than worth it!
  13. #33  
    dang - are we gonna see this article anytime during our lifetime?
  14. #34  
    1) Why was Jeff always opposed to color screens and stated in a written interview that no one would ever want color screens.

    I'd have to see the exact quote before accepting that. He repeatedly made statements to the effect that color screens weren't necessary -- that they provided no additional utility except for viewing photographs; this was circa 1997-99, when PDAs with color screens like the Newton 1200 were expensive bricks. Ripping such statements out of their historical context misrepresents their modest scope. The classic example is the oft-quoted "640k ought to be enough for anybody" statement by His Billness. It was true enough at the time, and was never meant to have implications for the future.

    Having said that, I do think that Jeff, and everyone at Handspring and Palm, were in development on a richer feature set, but couldn't admit it without hurting sales of their existing product line. If they said, "Don't worry, we're going to have color, hi-res and MP3," it would discourage people from buying units that lacked the features they were trying to add, however slowly. Is that dishonest? Sure, but that's capitalism. If you want to sell your wares, you accentuate your advantages (smaller form factors, simpler interfaces, battery life, more available software), and downplay your disadvantages (low-res, poor/nonexistent multimedia, more professionally written third-party software).

    2) He also dismissed the idea of ring tones, also stated in a written article, no its a $600 Million dollar business.

    I also dismiss the idea of ring tones, which are annoying as hell, and will continue to do so when it becomes a $600 trillion business.

    3) Also Visor springboard and the Visor Edge were huge failures.

    Architecturally, the Treo is a Visor + Visorphone. My theory is that the Springboard slot was nothing more than an R&D stopgap to the Treo line. In interviews from their latter days at Palm onward, Jeff and Donna used to make continual allusions to the cell phone business, as if they wanted a piece of the action (cell phones outsell PDAs by a factor of 100).

    4) He also was opposed of memory expansion and other stuff for the devices and other people in Palm and Handspring had to battle with him to get this included.

    He's alway resisted any feature set that pushed his devices beyond the $300/shirt-pocket envelope. Whenever he violated his own principles (the $499 Treo, the $399 Edge), the sales have been correspondingly weak. The miniaturization curve allows him to add features that he couldn't or wouldn't add before, and further production cycles will gradually drive down the price.

    Jeff had innovation with the original US Robotics devices, but currently he is catching up. That the Treo 600 will be a good device no doubt he has a hell of a team making him realize that people do not want the "simple" device he sees as necessary.

    I think that Jeff and Palm use the "simplicity" mantra because they don't have the unlimited R&D funds and manufacturing infrastructure that Sony has, and have to find some way to accentuate the modest advantages their products do have. But now Handspring is has to cater to Sprint, Verizon, etc., and provide the features that they want (e.g. a non-clamshell form). More than ever, Jeff has to design by committee, and I think that's healthy for even the best designer.
  15. #35  
    Okay....I think everyone is patiently wondering....WHERE IS THE ARTICLE JAKE !!.. ETA???
  16. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #36  
    Originally posted by Gameboy70
    [B]1) Why was Jeff always opposed to color screens and stated in a written interview that no one would ever want color screens.

    Having said that, I do think that Jeff, and everyone at Handspring and Palm, were in development on a richer feature set, but couldn't admit it without hurting sales of their existing product line. If they said, "Don't worry, we're going to have color, hi-res and MP3," it would discourage people from buying units that lacked the features they were trying to add, however slowly. Is that dishonest? Sure, but that's capitalism. If you want to sell your wares, you accentuate your advantages (smaller form factors, simpler interfaces, battery life, more available software), and downplay your disadvantages (low-res, poor/nonexistent multimedia, more professionally written third-party software).
    that would be nice if that is the case but it is not. Handspring's only ever made 2 color PDAs, Prism and treo90. Both are flops. They've never created any multimedia capable model themselves. Treo 600 is the first.

    Palm inc itself tries to jump into color with various degree of failure until Z71. ( iiic, m505, m515, TT, then finally the transreflective hi res). A true Palm color multimedia has only been out since last november with the OS 5.0 release. By then PPC has munched 25% of the market and released iPAQ h1910, a model that pretty much debunks ALL of Palm excuses what a color multimedia PDA can and cannot do.

    Essentially Palm should have come out with Tungsten T when iPAQ 3600 was first come out, but instead they were releasing m500, Osborning themselve in the process and drawning in massive unsold product. (you know the story by now)

    3) Also Visor springboard and the Visor Edge were huge failures.

    Architecturally, the Treo is a Visor + Visorphone. My theory is that the Springboard slot was nothing more than an R&D stopgap to the Treo line. In interviews from their latter days at Palm onward, Jeff and Donna used to make continual allusions to the cell phone business, as if they wanted a piece of the action (cell phones outsell PDAs by a factor of 100).
    Palm OS still has not answer one big aspect that causes springboard to fail, a robust device driver system. Treo 600 SD slot is still afflicted with this short coming. It is a non case now, but it would be interesting how they will spin it when a SDIO devices start trickling out.



    I think that Jeff and Palm use the "simplicity" mantra because they don't have the unlimited R&D funds and manufacturing infrastructure that Sony has, and have to find some way to accentuate the modest advantages their products do have. But now Handspring is has to cater to Sprint, Verizon, etc., and provide the features that they want (e.g. a non-clamshell form). More than ever, Jeff has to design by committee, and I think that's healthy for even the best designer.
    They actually believe the simplicity mantra, first as a successfull idea, then caried too far as anachronism and rationalising their product short coming. Having the 90-95% market share in the peak of dot.com bubble breed arrogance and they fall for it.

    treo 600 itself should be released NOW, not sometimes in october. As months go by we will see more and more advance phone competing against treo market rendering it a dinosour by summer next year. What happen in smartphone right now is exactly what happens in PDA around the m500 release. It's a crucial transition that they simply couldn't see/refuse to accept the inevitable onslaught by more nimble competitors.

    By december treo 600 will have to compete against new moto's symbian phone, second generation microsoft PPC phone, and first wave of smartphones. It's going to be mighty crowded out there compare to now.
  17. #37  
    treo 600 itself should be release [sic] NOW, not sometimes [sic] october.

    Couldn't agree more. Bring it on!
  18.    #38  
    UPDATE: My meeting with Jeff Hawkins…Introduction to “The Wizard of Palm.” By Jake Ehrlich

    Many members of the forum have been asking me when they can expect me to complete and publish my review of my meeting with Jeff Hawkins. I am working on it and I will publish it as soon as I feel it is ready.

    I will share with you up front that in my meeting with Jeff Hawkins and his lead industrial designer, Peter Skillman, that in my personal opinion they were extremely rude, impolite, highly condescending, closed-minded and they left me with the distinct impression they view their customers and fans with utter contempt.

    I spent over 30 hours on my article: “Treo 600:Love at first site” and when I realized I would be meeting with Jeff Hawkins I invested over 60 hours of my time preparing for that meeting.

    In retrospect I have no idea why Jeff Hawkins invited me to his office. All he did was disagree with everything I said and as far as I am concerned I might as well have not been in the room during our meeting.

    I also shared my own personal ideas with him on how to significantly improve the Palm Platform in the future and offered to license some of my ideas to Palm, and last but not least I offered to share the precious insight that many of you have shared with me on how to significantly improve the future Treo or Palm—all to no avail.

    I intend to write a detailed analysis of my findings, but in the end my objective is to separate the fact from the fiction once and for all. In my review I also intend to share with you many of my ideas that I presented in my meeting with Jeff Hawkins. That way you can decide for yourselves whether or not they deserve merit.

    Because of the seriousness of this issue, I want to be extremely careful and thoughtful with my review. In my review I will share my perspective with you first and foremost as a loyal customer of Handspring products. I believe the insight and stunning revelations that I have to share with you will be fascinating and eye-opening.

    As a man and a consumer I absolutely believe in accountability. As far as I am concerned the buck stops here. I don’t know about you but I am fed up with arrogant executives who try to pass the buck.

    If Jeff Hawkins wishes to respond or share his perspective with you I would encourage him to do so. I don’t know if Jeff cares much about corresponding with the invaluable members of this forum, but I assure you, I do care...very much.

    Best regards,
    Jake

    P.S. You can follow this thread at:
    http://discussion.visorcentral.com/v...threadid=35509
    There is a great difference between knowing and understanding. You can know a lot about something without understanding it. —Charles Kettering
    -------------------------------------------------
    Treo 600: Love at First Sight by Jake Ehrlich

    Thoughts on the Future of Handheld Computing: A 5 Part Series by Jake Ehrlich
  19. jegs2's Avatar
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    #39  
    Originally posted by purpleX
    treo 600 itself should be released NOW, not sometimes in october. As months go by we will see more and more advance phone competing against treo market rendering it a dinosour by summer next year.
    With that, I am in agreement. Excitement will die down and reality may not match expectations (a-la Star Wars Episode One). Moreover, the competition sees what it must outmatch nearly a quarter before what it must outmatch even hits the market...
    John 3:16-18

    Handspring Visor Prism w/Digital Link -> Palm Treo 600 -> Sprint PPC 6700 -> Palm Centro -> Blackberry Tour -> Blackberry Bold 9780 -> Blackberry Torch -> Palm Treo 755p -> BlackBerry Bold 9930
  20. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #40  
    I think if Handspring is a joke, it's a good line with lousy timing. It could have brought down the house, but management hesitation makes the timing off and it bombs.

    oh well, too bad, so sad, and the show goes on...
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