June 17, 2024

Binary Blogger

Are you a 1 or a 0? News, Thoughts and Reviews

Cisco’s Lack of Focus Killed The Flip

3 min read

Cisco Systems. The makers of Internet backbone equipment tried to get into the home market and failed miserably. As a side effect, a great product died.

Cisco decided to end the Flip camera line. If you read around the web, most new sources and bloggers blame the advancement of smartphones as the reason. I say B.S. on that excuse, a large corporate behemoth got into the top of the market with the best product, didn’t know how to market it, sell it, advance it and had to kill it because they didn’t know how to make more money off of it. All BS.

Have you ever heard of the top selling product on Amazon in a category get cancelled without a decline? No. Have you ever seen a product that forces others to come out with similar competing products to get killed off? No. Have you ever seen a product as popular as the Flip is/was just up and die for no reason? No.

Cisco should never have bought Flip. Bad, bad move. I never liked that idea because no one sees Cisco as a home product company. They confirmed everyone’s thoughts. The bloggers who suckle with the big companies whipped up a phony story that smartphones is the reason. That is such a load of crap.

Flip was a camcorder by design, function, and use. Smartphones have recording capabilities as a nice perk, but I will never use my phone as a primary recording device for any event for two reasons.

  1. Battery Life – My smartphone is my communication center. I am not going to record an hour or more of kids events, sporting events, vacation events on my phone. I need my phone to communicate and would like it to have power. A separate camcorder serves that purpose.
  2. Storage – A dedicated camcorder is purely for video. My smartphone has apps, music, movies, ringtones and unless smartphones get bigger, space is an issue. On top of that, I can’t just go out and get a new phone easily, I can get a camcorder and have many if I choose.
Flip was great. I have had many camcorders from the MiniDV, High8, my point and shoot camera for a while and then finally the Flip. The Flip was exactly what I was looking for. It was small, recorded quality was good for my means, built in transfer software. The Flip camera was just that simple and easy… and Cisco screwed it up and killed it.
I am just a technology guru and lover of gadgets, here are a few things that I was eagerly waiting in the Flip evolution that I would have bought in a new model the day it came out. Cisco, pay attention, I could have been a valuable consultant.
  • Image stabilization – The Flip is a small handheld camcorder. What it lacked was any kind of image stabilization so you were at the mercy of your hand to keep it steady. 
  • Rotation Detection – When you rotate the camera, rotate the recording aspect as well. Sometimes it’s easier to record sideways.
  • Ergonomic design – Change the style a little but. Throw some curves into the body to fit your hand a little better. Make it sexier.
  • Zoom – Improve the zoom, the Flip is not for far away shots. Sporting events are tough.
  • Expanded Cloud Service – There was so much opportunity to get a cloud storage service going. I would pay a good fee to store my videos in a backed up Cloud service and be able to use that to share out to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo, etc… They had something similar but it had so much potential to grow.
  • Accessories – The Flip’s money maker was potential accessories for it. Flip has a tripod, a case, rubber feet. So what. I am talking about photographic accessories to make it something really cool. Lens attachments like the Bower .45x lens. Microphone inputs. Lights. Filters. 

So much potential wasted. 

Smartphones didn’t kill the Flip, corporate politics did.
End of Line.
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