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  1.    #1  
    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
    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
  2. #2  
    Now I am even MORE interested in reading your article and finding out how this changes your opinion of Handspring, and perhaps even the Treo. Thanks Jake!
  3. #3  
    so my only question is how did the mtng get arranged? Did you contact them? Based on your comments above, I doubt they contacted you. Tell us how that whoe thing got set up.
    And if Jeff was as rude as you say (which I have no reason to doubt) I wonder why he & Peter agreed to meet?
    I'm as curious about all that as I am to hear the results. Let us know!
  4.    #4  
    RayUSA: I understand your concern.

    Jake
    Last edited by JakeE; 08/16/2003 at 03:13 AM.
    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
  5. #5  
    ok so I see they invited you but why? I wonder what they hoped to gain? Again - I'm just trying to reconcile their rudeness and overall attitude with why they invited you - seems kinda unusual to invite someone to a meeting and then treat them how they treated you. Clue us in JakeMan....
  6.    #6  
    Nrosser:

    I contacted Jeff and recomended we meet because I wanted to share all of the insight I had gained from this forum and beyond.

    There were many people in the thread that was formed after my original article here on TreoCentral named "Treo 600: Love at first site" that lead me to believe that I should attempt to contact Jeff and share my insight.

    The following quotes were from the discussion that occured in the thread after my article. I shared these quotes with Jeff in my presentation and I will share them with you:

    • “Jake, Would you be willing to consult with handspring in designing the next Treo!?! I'm serious. You have a remarkably keen understanding of the user experience and have a passion for design excellence. Thanks for all you've offered us!!!” — Rolltide6

    • “Thanks for the good vibes with your review, Jake! I know the 'magic' you're talking about.” —Matro

    • “I was absolutely riveted reading about your experience with the 600. I cannot wait to own one!!!!!”—Kirby

    • “JakeE great review, over the top and loving it. In fact I identified with too much, Star Wars, Raiders, Mac you were describing my life! Can't wait to get my hands on a Treo 600. Cheers”—VikingBrad

    • “Jake, you are pretty darn good writer! I really enjoyed reading your review several times!”—Dale

    • “Jake, passion is contagious. I love passionate people. It reinforces conviction. It allows one to speak and write with authority. It invites investigation, draws people to examine information presented.”

    • “Thanks for the great review Jake! Truly inspired! I can't wait for the new Treo 600!”

    • “Nice article, Jake. I'm sure Handspring is jumping for joy after reading your article. After all, the hot buzz and positive comments of upcoming products leads to sales!I like my Treo 270....I'm looking forward to the Treo 600!”—Chungmike

    • “JakeE, This is outstanding insight at a time when not much is written on this device.”—Ben Klieger

    • “Thanks JakeE for all your thoughts and comments. I just found the thread today, and read every last word with complete fascination.—Snowracer”
    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
  7. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #7  
    [Mod note: PurpleX, please do not flame our readers. You are welcome to post actual content, and discuss it, but you may not insult others.]
  8. #8  
    you may have gotten a taste as to why hawkins will no longer be in charge. it sounds like he thinks they developed the panacea to handhelds. the 600 will not be. from what i can gather it has a long way to go. they need to talk to those who use it daily under fire like i have to. the treo 300 i have is barely adequate in the field and only because of some of the great apps like snappermail.

    if jh is not willing to listen to his customers then his treo is doomed. samsung, a very well run company, and kyocera will continue to grab market share in ths field.
    Last edited by JTREOB; 08/15/2003 at 10:17 PM.
  9.    #9  
    JTREOB

    It is hard to believe it is true and I do not know this to be a fact but I have been told by several reliable sources that Jeff Hawkins only works at Handspring one day a week?!?!?!?

    Apparently he works at Handspring on Monday and spends the rest of his week at his REDWOOD Neuroscience Institute where they are seeking to unlock the way the human brain works. See for yourself: http://www.rni.org/index.html

    I must admit I find this very hard to reconcile???
    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
  10. #10  
    Jake -

    I knew about all those various quotes and such, rightfully giving you the props for a great review of the device, and stuff but -
    weren't you taken aback by his attitude? I mean, it's kinda like "c'mon into my house; sure" and then let me smack you around.
    I just wonder WHY he agreed to meet - which you'd think would have been to listen to the thoughts of someone on the outside - and then to have treated you that way.
    I just don't get it. Maybe it's how he is - kinda strange and off-putting...
  11.    #11  
    nrosser:

    I was absolutely Shocked!!!

    I mean Stunned!!!!!

    I can't explain it?????

    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
  12. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #12  
    Jake post the article already and let us do the shocked, stunned and flabbergasted bit.

    plus may I remind you you are the president of jeff hawkins fan club so, it is your duty to be infinitely cheerfull and gushy about jh. lol

    [Mod note: Parts removed, see above.]
  13.    #13  
    PurpleX:

    I am definitely no longer the president of Jeff Hawkins’ fan club.

    I believe Jeff Hawkins has contributed many significant contributions to the handheld world and for that he deserves recognition. I appreciate his work product in many ways but I think he is an arrogant jerk.

    The deeper I dig the more I seem to find his priorities to be strange. The apparent fact that he only spends a day a week working at Handspring?

    If I were Jeff instead of investing $2 million in his Brain Institute I would have invested that money in giving the Treo 600 a 320x320 screen???

    I also find it disturbing that on his watch the company has lost something like a hundred million dollars and he parachutes out with $40 million??? Seems to me like he has been rewarded for UNSUCCESFULLY executing a profitable business strategy.

    By the way does anyone know what the exact Loss numbers are for Handspring and Palm?
    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
  14. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #14  
    Handspring income statement.
    http://biz.yahoo.com/fin/l/h/hand.html
    They are a public company. There should be somewhere that you can find their entire financial history too.

    PS. If you ask me better tone down on the jh thingy, dont' get too passionate, It has the potential to get nasty, age of law suit you know.
  15. #15  
    Originally posted by JakeE

    I also find it disturbing that on his watch the company has lost something like a hundred million dollars and he parachutes out with $40 million??? Seems to me like he has been rewarded for UNSUCCESFULLY executing a profitable business strategy.
    That's exactly what I was saying in the previous thread. Anyway Jake, in what way were they rude and condesending if I may ask? It seems kinda strange to me that they would invite you and then blow you off? Didn't they realize you would be posting your thoughts here for the whole treo community to read? Disrespecting members of the enthusiast community doesn't seem like a very smart public relations IMO. At least Micheal Mace etc occasionaly post over at PIC. I don't think anyone at Handspring has ever done so here at treocentral... oh well that's not so important. I've personally have had no allegience to handspring as a company. I don't really focus on the megalomanic execs who run these companies. I simply see if I like the product and then want to learn more about them. I hope the next treo is just as useful, but I won't buy it if it turns out to be piece fo shiit. In the end, I think I'm more interested in the community here are treocentral than the empty suits HS HQ's. This forum has been very valuable and insightful IMO. I've enjoyed reading about people's experiences with their Treos and sharing my excitement for the new devices. Thus in the end, I think of this community more than Handspring when subject of the treo comes up. So don't worry Jake if Hawkins etc were a-holes to ya... In the end, it's probably more valuable that you have the ear and confidence of the community here...
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  16. #16  
    handsprings problem was it never had the pockets to wait through the handheld battles. it was doomed unless it pulled off a unique highly desirable device. it tried with the treo, but the two device owners didn't flip like they thought and competition from kyocera and samsung who have deep pockets remains fierce. lets remember the ms os device manufactures as well.

    handsprings drop of all units except the treo was a telling sign that cash was thin.

    i applaud jh and handspring for being great innovators in the one device field, and i think the 600 will be formitable. i hope it is. the 300 i have is not. i dislike the day light mirror/screen for one.

    jh has had the right idea about the one device. he has been a real pioneer in the one device field. he's obviously dedicated to a correct approach. also, who knows what cash restraints he had in developing the 600. this should be considered as a possibility.

    i really have no interest in learning about the man or his short falls, i'm not suprised at jakee's observations, however. the device itself. should remain the focus. i hope they correct that daytime screen problem. trust me it's a major fault at present for field users.
    Last edited by JTREOB; 08/16/2003 at 12:53 AM.
  17. purpleX
    purpleX's Avatar
    #17  
    handsprings drop of all units except the treo was a telling sign that cash was thin. it put what remained in trying to hit a home run with the treo.
    If you ask me they made several fatal mistake with their visor line. (hindsight always 20/20)

    1. they try to pull 'incrementalism'. They should have one visor model with cosmetic variations and sell it with ultra thin margin and flood the market. Sub $200 is the name of the game.

    2. Edge was total loser. Instead of going high end trying to compete with m500. They should have done something like Zire. They shouldn't be so afraid bringing the entire product value to the ditch. It bounds to happen anyway. Plus, sub $200 B/W models turns out to be pretty profitable.

    3. The springboard is a good idea, but proprietary slot never survive long.

    Same with treo 600,
    if you ask me, instead of trying to make $500 bucks gee whizz phone and compete for high end spot where they bound to lose in feature contest against big boys like Samsung or Microsoft, they should have tried to create basic B/W ARM organizer phone and sell it at the grocery stores for $200 or less.

    make it cheap and dandy instead of 'glamorous high end wanna be'.

    /arm chair mode off>
  18. #18  
    Originally posted by JakeE
    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.
    Jake,

    I am going to play the devil's advocate here and say some things that others may be thinking but are too polite to say. Except for maybe PurpleX. I am not defending Jeff Hawkins behavior IF indeed he was extremely rude to you OR if this so called meeting even occurred! This all just sounds a little too attention seeking to me. It makes for a great build-up of anticipation for your report, etc. Because you and the rest of us are anonymous, it is easy to spin and draw the limelight by preying on the mystery and impatience that many feel while waiting for the release of the 600. We can all play the Jr. Shrink here about the character of JH. It fills idle time. I for one do NOT believe that he nor anyone else would be so stupid as to knowingly alienate an active posting member of this forum. Are you absolutely SURE that you didn't misinterpret what was shared (Again, if anything was shared) and then later regard it as a personal affront? Did you have unrealistic expectations that someone at Handspring would actually PAY you a licensing fee for your design input ideas? Nothing wrong with a little pride and passionate enthusiasm but get real. I will read your future posts with interest but I will need direct quotes in order to interpret the "Context" for myself rather than blindly take it on blind faith. Direct quotes posted publicly here by the way will make YOU accountable to the truth in lieu of libel laws, etc. Remember that kid (Jason Blair) that they busted at NY times for fabricating news stories and making stuff up? He was appropriately discredited for the drama king that he was.

    Count me as very skeptical when it comes to reading about things like UFO's in the Enquirer. I was taught in college to use critical thinking skills and something here about teasing announcements, publicity stunt delays and then generating sympathy by how "wronged" you were just doesn't smell right. I am only being honest and hope I'm wrong about this.

    -THP
    Think First, ask questions later!
  19. #19  
    Lets not lose the trees int he forest here....

    There is nothing saying Jeff has to be NICE.... many techs are weird and introverted... some are outspoken... whatever.

    The treo 600 is the most complete product of its line. Period. People can say what they want,l talk about the screen not brng bright ebough but when it all comes down to it the 600 was designed with a lot of thought in mind.

    So let's separate business from personalities.... We dont buy Treos because the people that make them are nice.
  20. #20  
    Originally posted by MikeRadio
    So let's separate business from personalities.... We dont buy Treos because the people that make them are nice.
    Amen to that. We also don't buy them because someone got their bubble burst by needlessly putting Hawkins up on some pedestal in the first place. It's too easy to get caught up in that game when overcome by the "magic" of technological change. I am as romantic and excited about the "design" of the times in which we live as anyone else. Gotta just keep it all in perspective though.

    Enough said about that I guess.

    Out.

    -THP
    Think First, ask questions later!
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