Tech Soap Opera: Good article by Chris Ziegler on the short life and unhappy death of the Palm Pre, which once bid fair to grab the mobile market. Exposes the inner workings of the industry–personalities x technology x market issues–well reported on all three dimensions. Jim and I both had Pres. We went from big crush–nifty UI things, great form factor–to feeling like it was a Members Only jacket and we were the last members. (A feeling I have often had.)
Arguably, Palm was in the midst of amassing perhaps the greatest talent pool in the Valley at that time. People who’d done truly great things in the industry–many of whom already knew each other and had professional chemistry–had been enticed to Sunnyvale en masse under the leadership of Ed Colligan and Jon Rubinstein, both of whom were considered highly charismatic and influential individuals who could get things done. And Palm management had indicated to leadership that their Windows Mobile business was healthy enough to carry the company for a while, giving engineers the breathing room they needed to make Nova great.
The company blew out remaining TouchPad inventory for as little as $99, a move that one employee we spoke to called a “joke.” At that point, it was nothing more than a dead tablet walking