Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Jonathan Kaplan Still Doesn’t Know Exactly Why Cisco Killed the Flip (Video)

Jonathan Kaplan, founder of Pure Digital, the company behind the Flip Digital video cameras, says he still doesn’t know exactly why Cisco Systems, the networking giant that acquired the company in 2009 for $590 million, unceremoniously killed the product as part of a reorganization earlier this year.

Asked while onstage with Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg at the All Things D conference today, Kaplan said he could only guess why Cisco killed it, without apparently trying to sell it first, but he had a good guess. “I think that it’s only conjecture, big corporations do things aren’t necessarily well understood. One of the things is the technology that we created. And if I had to guess, one of the reasons is that a lot of that technology we created is being used in products that Cisco needs to create….It may have been touching the hearts and minds of millions of people, but to Cisco it was just another product. Sometimes the baby goes out with the bathwater.”

Later on Kaplan said he thinks it would have been difficult for Cisco to “unwind some of the technologies that we created” from Cisco products, and that given Cisco’s huge size, and the relatively small contribution that the Flip line was contributing to Cisco’s overall sales, it would not have been worth the effort to the company’s senior management.

Oddly enough, as a major Cisco shareholder, Kaplan says he agrees with the decision because he wants Cisco to do well. “I think it was the right decision for Cisco, because I want them to be successful….But do I think the world is worse off because Flip is no longer? Yes.”


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