Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Rubinstein Disses How HP Handled Palm Acquisition, Calling It a “Waste” (And More!)


Before a short but lively interview with FierceWireless, longtime mobile exec Jon Rubinstein — who has worked at Apple, Palm and then at Hewlett-Packard when it bought the innovative smartphone maker — took a big swig of truthy juice, it seems.

Starting off talking in broad statements of the very obvious and leaving no trend unmentioned, Rubinstein — who just joined the board of Qualcomm and has been a director at Amazon — noted: “I’m a big believer in mobile and integration of the home, and wearable computing and all that stuff, and having it all tied up in the cloud.”

But he quickly segued into what we in the business call a corker of a chat, with the following quotes on a variety of subjects and with a refreshing level of tell-it-like-it-is by Rubinstein, who has taken some time off since Palm and has also been advising small companies.

On how Palm’s webOS was there first, you copycats!: “We did a lot of things that were very, very innovative. Obviously, multitasking, notifications, Synergy, how we handled the multiple cards. There’s a long list of stuff we did that has been adopted by Microsoft, Apple and [Google] Android.”

On the I-do-not-like-thee HP deal: “Well, I’m not sure I would have sold the company to HP [Hewlett-Packard]. That’s for sure. Talk about a waste … If we had known they were just going to shut it down and never really give it a chance to flourish, what would have been the point of selling the company?”

On mishegas with the carriers: “I think the deal we had with Verizon really hurt us, but who knew that at the time? These things are all hindsight.”

On how said carriers were dopes anyway: “We always argued with the carriers. They wanted to have their specific goofy services and stuff, and they would pressure us to try and support their stuff when we didn’t want to. All of that stuff has gone away. No one uses that stuff anymore.”

There’s a whole lot more, so click here to read the whole thing.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work