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JLG interview on Silicon Valley .com

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Posted by:Ryan on Wednesday, 18 Apr, 2001 @ 7:32 PM
 
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JLG sat down to talk with SiliconValley.com about Be Inc’s current financial trouble and their history. Of note is his discussion of open-sourcing BeOS. He says he doesn’t know why he should do the work and release it, but if he felt that Open Sourcing it would please the investors, he would do it. So, lets try and figure out how open-sourcing beos pleases investors in Be, Inc. Here’s one thought: OpenSource BeOS, and sell the BeIA kits to companies wanting to use it in an IA. Thus you have the same competition level on the IA field, but with the benefits of open-source such as enormous goodwill & mindshare, buzzword-i-ness, and mass bug-hunting. Then again, linux is a bit of a nightmare to work with, so opensourcing could destroy a good thing. The good will may be worth it though… 9 months ago Be had a growing community of people anxiously awaiting BeIA devices. Now they have a static or dwindling community of people getting more and more upset. What are your thoughts on this stuff? Any idea how to make it seem like a good idea to shareholders? Do you think it isnt such a great idea?



28 Responses to “JLG interview on Silicon Valley .com”

  1. nodaclu Says:

    A Workable Plan?

    First post…All your base are belong to us. Sorry, had to do it. ;-)

    Anyway, at this point there has to be some way to learn from the (mis)adventures of others. RedHat has an excellent marketing arm, and did a lot to put Linux on the tongues of folks outside the immediate walls of geekdom. Apple went halfway and open-sourced their kernel, while keeping all of the exterior goodies in-house. This is the closest example to Be’s current situation.

    I just can’t believe that with the upcoming “Product Activation” within Windows XP, that there isn’t going to be some sort of noticable revolt against M$ by even the masses. Apple is poised to jump on this. Surprisingly, Be is even more prepared, but they don’t seem to realize it.

    The OS wars are not over - not even close. There is still a community out there willing to support and evangelize the OS. If open-sourcing BeOS results in more sales of the OS (no guarantee of course), and provides the all-important name recognition for ALL Be products (including IA), then how exactly is that a bad thing for shareholders?

    Noda

  2. Anonymous Says:

    My 2c

    Open sourcing BeOS would kill BeOS. All that makes BeOS great would be pillaged by the free world, and BeOS would never be seen again. Open sourcing BeOS will not give it wide stream acceptance. Period. Live with it.

  3. rppp01 Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/18/2001 9:02:16 PM

    Re: My 2c

    I don’t know why you think that open sourcing BeOS will kill the OS. It is not like BeOS is a carcass that will be left barren after it has been picked clean.
    So what if the other Operating System vultures come in and take code from the BeOS? So what if linux, bsd, atheos, even M$ come in and grab code from BeOS? How does this kill the OS? The answer: it doesn’t.
    It doesn’t matter if 50 different versions of BeOS arise out of BeOS’s code being opened up. Be Inc can continue to guide the efforts of the OS’s development by working with the community.
    OpenSourcing allows dead products to continue to live. Think about it. Look at netscape. If not for it going opensourced, it would be dead and forgotten. (Yes it is a POS- at least until bezilla becomes a solid browser.) But BeOS does not have to be re-written from scratch, as netscape did. BeOS has a solid foundation. It would only be uphill from that point.
    Be, Inc could still continue to guide the efforts of the OS development, while at the same time continuing to focus on the IA market. Be Inc doesn’t lose any money on OS development, and can instead focus on marketing, selling and supporting the OS. Be continues with IA, and the OS continues to grow and develop. A viable desktop to M$ with a company or so to support it would give home users, OEMs, and CIO’s pause when considering alternatives. Just as linux is now doing in the server room.
    OpenSourcing gives life to otherwise dead software. This would allow BeOS to breath.

  4. Scar Says:

    In Response To rppp01 @ 04/18/2001 9:39:59 PM

    Re: My 2c

    perhaps, but the general public doesn’t ‘want’ open source. Look at Linux, a fine OS in its own right, that is still considered a niche OS, and will never gain wide stream acceptance. I can see this thread quickly descending into a discourse on the pros and cons of the open source movement, but the real topic should be the effects of Open sourcing BeOS on the future of the OS. I agree with you when you mention that if Be Inc took a hand in guiding the open source development and released ‘official’ releases from the open source community then that could be great, but the reasons the general public use one OS over another are support and apps (and what it comes loaded with from the OEM, but thats a whole different ball of wax). These two things allow them to do what they need to with the PC. Open sourcing BeOS would enhance neither of these things. True, the OS would continue to be developed, and thats great, but it would do nothing to break down the barriers between BeOS and wide stream market acceptance. May I also say that I do enjoy the positive conversation about differing opinions here at begroovy. Not like the abuse fests you find elsewhere. Its refreshing. :) have a great day.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Scar @ 04/18/2001 10:06:23 PM

    Re: My 2c

    Linux is not a niche OS because it is open source, it is a niche OS because it is based on 20-year old UNIX and is very clunky to work with.

  6. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 11:27:35 AM

    Re: My thoughts on how to do it (OSS)

    To fix logins simply put your username in without a password. It will email you. If your email has changed, i will fix it for you, but you should be able to do so yourself using your old password.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To cedricd @ 04/19/2001 11:44:13 AM

    Re: My Humble Opinion…

    Glad you appreciated the post… I don’t see anyone else posting about ethics so I figured maybe I could try to write how I feel about this whole open-sourcing BeOS issue.

    I not against Be Inc., here. BeOS is my main OS, of course… but I’m not blind either and I don’t appreciate the fact that Be Inc. has some great technology that could vanish with the company if it were to fold.

    Be Inc. is part of the “corporate america”, let’s face it. I just wanted to state that I don’t think the “corporate world” is the best solution we have for the long run. BTW, companies don’t have ethics… people have. JLG, Dianne, Marco and the others are certainly talented people and I assume they have higher standards than most MS engineers and directors… But Be Inc. must play by the rules of the “corporate world” and I don’t like those rules in which I don’t feel anybody truly wins. I’m complaining about the rules on which the “corporate world” is build… and I want to do something about it… at my own tiny scale. You suggest WW3. I was thinking of “legitimate and democratic means” like simply showing how alternative models can work. (I’m writting a paper on this issue… expect to read it soon on bebug.org).

    I’m tired of the selfishness. Not yours, not Be Inc.’s,… sometimes MS’s executive’s… but mainly the selfishness induced by our social organization. FSF and OSS aren’t perfect but they are based on some interesting ideas that should be promoted… and not only in the IT (hate that denomition) world.

    This is clearly off topic, sorry.

    - Cedric Neve, BeBUG

  8. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/18/2001 11:55:16 PM

    Re: My 2c

    It may be “clunky” in certain aspects… but you can’t deny it’s a solid server…

  9. Scar Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/18/2001 11:55:16 PM

    Re: My 2c

    Very true, and even though its open sourced, it has made no move towards main stream acceptance. Nor has open sourcing bought it out of its 20 year old heritage and into a truly modern OS. Main stream and OEM acceptance is what BeOS needs and open sourcing won’t provide that.

  10. bkakes Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 00:42:56 AM

    Re: My 2c

    True, Linux makes a great server, but the general public doesn’t want servers… ;)

  11. bkakes Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/18/2001 9:02:16 PM

    Re: My 2c

    I’m not sure if Open-Sourcing the BeOS would help or not; there are too many factors to tell. What I do know, however, is that it’s the only real chance the BeOS has left. A few years ago, I argued strongly against open-sourcing the OS; like Scot Hacker, I would prefer a closed-source OS to an open one (at least, in regards to portions such as the interface development, etc.). But we’re past that now. Without open-sourcing the OS, I think it’s pretty safe to say the BeOS has no future–at least, no future development will take place. So will open-sourcing work? We don’t know. But I’d prefer that to an all-out halt on development…

  12. cedricd Says:

    My Humble Opinion…

    Don’t read too much into this, seems to me like a polite reponse
    to do: instead of juste saying “NO” and not argue at all,
    you say “why would I do this when we are a publicly held company
    rather than a RMS-Linus..etc charity fund?” to make it longer.
    Though the question is asked so often that it would deserve
    to not get attention any more and get a blunt “NO” of course.

    To make my opinion even clearer :) , let’s recall
    once again that OSS is an utter failure in the corporate
    world; a huge number of companies USE linux et al because
    well, some folks have been silly enough to make their hard work
    free so why not use it, otherwise the compatitor will do
    and have an edge over your company, but noone OPENS *their* source,
    because that’s a stupid thing to do. And if you have
    “factual corrections” to do to my ranting well I know its
    not exhaustive, that’s not what a discussion forum is for.. First
    read the very excellent link that was once posted here, to an article
    explaining why OSS is a failure, why RedHat is bleeding money like
    crazy, the fact that only dead projects are opensourced by coporate
    environments (like Netscape) or ones that don’t make money ..etc
    If you remember what article I refer to re-read it agin. I can
    probably dig up the URL for those interested..

    It’s all common sense really, distributing stuff for free
    == not making money == teenagers and fanatics who have another
    job to put food on the table but certainly not corporate entities.
    The great achievement of the OSS bigots community is to
    flood the “discussion” under such amount of noise that the
    common-sense questions get lost among the crap.

    Right, can we move on now :)

  13. Anonymous Says:

    An operating system company, Be.

    Oddly enough, in this article they call Be ‘an operating system company’, not just ‘internet appliance company’ or else. Official Be not correcting the reporter? That’s strange, considering how much time they put in polishing-up and mutilating interviews and articles. That may be just a hint or that may not… Someone living near Menlo Park? Care to go there and interview jlg and post the audio variant in some independent kinda place so that it cannot be ‘corrected’.

    - Buck

  14. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 08:17:05 AM

    Re: An operating system company, Be.

    All your base are belong to us. Somebody set up us the bomb. You have no more chance to survive make your time. Take off every ‘zig’.

    Be is an OS company… Their ticker symbol is still BEOS and BeIA is still an OS. I’m fairly certain shareholders will be asking for OSS soon unless Be gets the ball rolling.

    This article is much like I suggested in the forum, that an OSS BeOS would improve developer support for BeIA.

    OSS: All your BeOS are belong to us.
    USER: Somebody set up us the BeIA
    DEV: Be have no more chance to survive make your time
    JLG: Take off every ‘dev’. For great justice.

    ALL YOUR BEOS ARE BELONG TO US!!!!!!!!!!!!

  15. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To cedricd @ 04/19/2001 06:39:07 AM

    Re: My Humble Opinion…

    I just want to reply concerning the terms “teenagers or fanatics” that you mention in your post. I think BeOS should be open-sourced but the question you raise here is far more important to me than any operating system whatsoever… It’s about freedom.

    You state that publishing sources and the whole Open Source mouvement is a complete (”utter”) failure in the corporate world. Of course it is. You conclude by talking about “the OSS bigots community” and the “crap” they flood you with. Well, I’m sorry to here this because some people still have their ideals and qualifying idealistic people by the term “bigots” doesn’t present a very open-minded spirit I would expect from a BeOS user.

    So, what is crap… The freedom to innovate and to share the innovation with everyone or the idea that we live for profit and our “corporate world” is great. I’m not a teenager. I’m not a fanatic. I certainly conceive that we must adapt to this “corporate world” and try to cope with all the selfishness around. But this is not the world I want to live in and I’m willing to improve it by legitimate and democratic means. And if that is bigotry to you… well fine. But don’t expect everyone to resign and let go their dreams just because you cherish this “corporate world”.

    To me, IMHO, the corporate world is a dead-end and a real threat… To me… the “corporate world” is the one in which Micro$oft and the like are succeeding… It’s the one governed by an idiot surrounded by an army of power-addicted “corporate world” leaders that make a joke of democracy and have forgotten that there money can’t buy them the most important things in life.

    Now this surely sounds lunatic… Sorry for that… But let’s not forget that OSS and the FSF are a dream. We can all participate to make it come true and having a fine piece of work like BeOS would certainly help.

    I’m a BEOS shareholder, so I hope Be Inc. makes profit… However, JLG and all the Be engineers can already be proud. They have made a great OS. If the company folds tomorrow, I wish all this hard work won’t be lost just because of some corporate crap.

    PS: Didn’t mean to post as Anonymous Coward… but I forgot my BeGroovy login…

  16. Anonymous Says:

    My thoughts on how to do it (OSS)

    If Be wanted to OSS BeOS, they wouldn’t have to place resources on it. They could assemble a crack team of BeOS hardcore devs that wanted to see BeOS OSS, and NDA them so that they couldn’t release any of the source code that wasn’t to be released (licensed stuff). Then let them have at it. It could be some long-time BeOS devs, and it could be Be engineers working in their off time. But it could be done without having to substantiate it to the shareholders as lost resources.

    Then, you let this same team control the OSS of the “official” BeOS distribution. Sort of like OpenTracker, where it’s controlled. Others could do what they want with it, but make it part of the license that changes must be sent back to the “official” team for possible inclusion to the official OpenBeOS distribution.

    Simple Solution.

    It can be done, and _could_ be controlled, AND Be doesn’t have to worry themselves with lost resources to do it. So, since they seem so “hard core” against opening up BeOS, and come up with any excuse they can, I think it’s safe for us to assume that they won’t.

    - Deej (sorry, my login no longer works :P )

  17. cedricd Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 10:46:36 AM

    Re: My Humble Opinion…

    It’s refreshing to read from people with a sense of ethics(sp? not sure about the translatio sorry) outside
    of the BeOS community (though you’re in, if a shareholder.. right),
    these are certainly rare enough these days.

    But I fail to understand how saying “corporate america sucks” apply
    to Be, and they deserve death as well (ie GPL or MLP or OT or whatever the source
    and the say “voila, it was good while it lasted, now take care of the code
    yourselves, we know we have no chance of making money with it any more at any rate.

    I mean,
    if Be (including JLG, Dianne, Marco, Travis, Brian ..etc ..etc)
    dont deserve to be a successful company then *no company* does, we might as well
    shutdown capitalism altogether or do WW3 and as einstein said, do WW4 with sticks
    and stones (that would be phun, in a pervert sort of way).

    Of course I’m basing this on the premise the you have the same “ranking scale”
    as me, if you have it reverse and actually value the ethics of
    other companies’ethics higher than Be’s then I’m afraid I shouldn’t
    have followed up to your post.

    In other words: take on MS, and when they’re dead blame it on Be Incorporated
    as the only remaining reason for the world we live in.

    Thanks for your honesty about the reality of making money with OSS though.. I’ve always
    said the OSS zealots here are smarter than the benews ones :) (j/k, dont’ take offense)
    PS: it’s certainly a weird world in which you have to put a “I’m not lunatic”
    disclaimer for the democratic ideas you expressed (though it would be justified for the OSS
    stuff of course; semi-joking on that one..)

  18. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 10:46:36 AM

    Come On….Really?

    I am a JAVA developer and all my little side projects (the fun stuff I program outside of work) is always open-sourced and free, because anything I do write could easily be replicated by someone else so their is no point in trying to get any money out of it :) .

    What is the “best solution” aside from the corporate world? I hope you aren’t suggesting collectivism.

    IMHO The so-called “Open Source Community” is a crock of who knows what. I am all for the sharing of ideas but not for the “sharing” of bonified WORK. REALLY GOOD code should not be protected from lazy programmers that want to reap the benefits of what others have sown.

    Since when are BeOS users “open minded”?! This is news to me! (*close-minded*) ;)

    Don’t get me started on MS. Microsoft bashing makes me sick. It’s just a bunch of havenots poo-pooing all over the already-gots (i.e. Microsoft). Let’s look at the numbers, the cold hard facts: MICROSOFT HAS A GOOD PRODUCT. So what if it has hardly an ounce of innovation or originality in the business world all that matters is what’s on the papers. Let’s face reality people; if you want fairness and “sharing” go talk to your Kindergarten teacher. In the business world you have to be tough and make shrewd decisions that will benefit YOU (not your other “open source buddies” that smoke hippie weed and program in their mom’s basement at the age of 30–gross bias :) . Microsoft did /does that. Why shouldn’t microsoft succeed? Why shouldn’t BeOS succeed?

    Technically BeOS is far, far, far!!! superior to its competition but it is lacking where others are not: A DECENT MARKETING TEAM. Be Inc. made some misjudgements of the Operating System market, and now finally the Internet Appliance Market and they are/will pay for it. I’m still hoping ‘BeIA’ will keep them alive–though, the case gets worse and worse every day.

    As a shareholder, a user, and an admirer of the best Operating System technology of our time I only hope Be Inc. sells out to somebody bigger, with more resources to through into BeOS to make it work (technically AND POLITICALLY!!!). Sony would be my choice :) . Imagine PSX3 running BeOS :) !

    A shiver ran down my spine once I saw the headline “Be Inc. for sale”–because the image that came to my mind was Microsoft gobbling the tiny OS up only to shelve its technology so nobody else could use it. Scary isn’t it? They have the money to do it.

    I’m all outta angst,
    –McT

  19. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 12:35:42 AM

    Re: My Humble Opinion…

    Tired of selfishness? Don’t believe a violent overthrow is necessary, believe change can be done through the democratic system in place……..sound like socialism to anybody else?

  20. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 11:27:35 AM

    Re: My thoughts on how to do it (OSS)

    Nice thought but there are two problems:

    1) What happens if Be Inc. dies, who will regulate it then?

    and…

    2) Just plain hard to regulate :) It would be easier to maintain, and expand themselves. Now they have to regulate possibly hundreds even thousands of people messing around with their code!? :)

    If only it were that easy :)

    McT

  21. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/18/2001 9:02:16 PM

    Re: My 2c

    I concur, BeOS should be left to the corporations that can do a GOOD and PROFESSIONAL job we have come to expect from BeOS. Open sourcing it would lead to 2 things, the rape of BeOS, and a slue of incestous offspring all deformed in some way just like Linux–(I know I’ll get some flak from Linux lovers out their… oh well :)

    Clean BeOS 4EVER!
    –McT

  22. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Scar @ 04/19/2001 01:21:33 AM

    Re: My 2c

    Linux is 20 old year technology? BWhahaahah!

    Then BeOS must be pathetic new technology since Linux craps all over it in the real world (with better networking, better GL, better content creation tools, etc. etc). Don’t kid yourself, BeOS has some nice techniques built-in, but it failed misserably in the marketplace. Don’t believe me? Then why is Be Inc for sale???

  23. cedricd Says:

    In Response To Anonymous @ 04/19/2001 12:35:42 AM

    Re: My Humble Opinion…

    Aww Cedric it’s you, coulda said it :) Gotta hate those anonymous system..
    I wouldn’t have said “OSS zealot” had I known better, sorry.
    Though the rest would have been unchanged I think, but since we are
    on agreement on many points it’s not necessary a bad thing.

    Ok, with this page sliding down the frontpage a bit more each day this
    is not a cumfortable place to talk in :^), so this is probably my
    last modest contribution: keep the faith! As you say each one
    may do a bit on its own; there aren’t enough of us geeks so
    I’m not terribly optimistic for the future but just knowing that I’m
    doing my part feels good, and hopefully it works the same for like-minded people..

    PS: sorry for the lack of “pro-activeness” regarding our
    ‘partnership idea’ with Sharesmanager since so many months; I still
    have it on my long-term todo-list though in case I’m less
    swamped with other things one day… and in case whtever happens
    to Be Inc in the coming weeks turns out good; admitedly these
    are an awful lot of conditions :(

  24. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To nodaclu @ 04/18/2001 8:29:30 PM

    Re: A Workable Plan?

    Why won’t Be Inc. just rework the convoluted WON. This is the only weak link in the OS as it exists today. Certainly a no brainer. Reminds me of another french product, Alioscopy; 4 years after a big fanfare in the press, this product is still just a web page.

  25. Damonous Says:

    Enough with the “IA” idea already!

    The comment is implied that ’since Be has not released the source for Beos, a great line of developers have left the “IA” market in frustration.’ OK: Let’s wake up to reality, here. There never was, -and never is going to be-, a great lineup of people for Internet Appliances. And someday, perhaps when the US economy is protected again from free trade and underdeveloped/underpaid countries (so that the average American can expect a more respectable wage for average-working-class jobs), maybe the market for IA’s for in-home refrigerators that ‘talk’ to the toilet, lamps, and the kitchen sink will actually exist (in numbers befitting an actual profit).

    Considering the cash and resources Be has applied to its “IA” gambit, a $100k-500k return a year later is a complete failure; NOT a success. I think Be realizes this, now. Hopefully there is still enough time for them to capitalize on their true “reason for existence as a company”: Beos.

    Open Source would indeed kill Beos. It appears that it is already “shared-source”, if you will; almost the ideal symbiotic relation between OS-owner, and application-developer. What they need to do RIGHT NOW is to release Beos R6.0, and include whatever state that OpenGl is in RIGHT NOW. With the V3X DX8 emulation in final stages; this would be the biggest bomb to hit the computer world since Win95. Since they are uncertain of how long they can provide customer support, they should release it as such: limited or no warranty. –Not all that much difference with Microsoft, considering the reputation of that companies responses to developer needs.

    If anything were to be open source, then they should somehow figure out a way to develop (either now, or after the revenue-boost of R6)an open-source ‘hook’ into the OGL API, for 3d Driver development. (Maybe this would be a slower ‘hook’, than a direct “official” driver, but would allow development, even if their company ceased to exist.)

    One more thing: R6 should NOT be a free upgrade. And, personally, I WOULD pay another $60-$70 for a version of R6 with upgraded OpenGL (maybe more). I think people are confusing “open development” with “free lunch”. Here’s the deal: the company that “defeats” Microsoft (and it WILL happen, someday) will make LOTS OF MONEY. Likely, Billions, as has Microsoft. This should be expected and understood by the user/development community. What the user/development community should hope for is a company like Beos–with a better design and friendly attitude. It turn, they should look to HELP that company, not pressure it to respond to an endless stream of idiot questions like “will you release the source so that you can no longer make ANY profit, even the measely bit of NON-profit you’re already making?” Hey, if Be truly dies, it would be great if someone from within “accidentally leaked” the source to Beos. But, if not; then not. That’s the way it goes. I believe, though, everyone who really appreciates the Beos should give the support to the company until its last breathe; not encourage it to “give up the ship” before the last hand is played.

    Thanks for reading my extended comment.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Damonous @ 04/22/2001 11:42:13 AM

    Re: Enough with the

    Regarding your comment about paying $60 to $70 for an R6 upgrade, I must say it would take a personal apology from JLG himself for me to be willing to spend another red cent on a product from his company. From R3 to R5, I spent over of $1000 on Be and BeOS related hardware and software, only to be totally left out in the cold when they changed focus. I e-mailed JLG several times trying to learn where we, the people that supported him and his company for the past several years, stood only to be given endlessly vague BS answers. That kind of utter lack of respect is not easily forgotten. Given the fact that it appears 3rd party developers received much the same treatment, I’m honestly not sure anything can save Be, they’ve just burned too many bridges from my point of view - they abandoned a strong dedicated community, they screwed developers and they robbed shareholders out of their money with ill-conceived and horribly executed business decisions.

    The *only* thing that would give me any hope for the company would be if the entire management team was fired. Whether this is by being sold to a company who knows what they’re doing, or the board of directors finding a new management team to salvage what little remains.

    Sorry if this is so negative, but a company who sits idly by and watches such an optimistic and devoted userbase erode into a disgraceful mob who instinctively attacks anyone who dares question the so called “fearless leader” deserves whatever fate it meets.

  27. Anonymous Says:

    open source

    Personally, I think it’s a good idea for be to go open source, but with a sort of board of directors to oversee development. I think this would bring programmers out of the woodwork and would make development for be worthwhile, if it was going to show up on many desktops. There’s just to few useful apps for be. I’m sure if this changed and a substantial number of folks started using it, there may be more demand for it as an os for an ia as people would know how great it is.
    just a thought. i’d hate to loose it, even tho’ most apps i use are on windows.
    ciao

  28. Anonymous Says:

    Be should go back to selling a product

    Here’s more hindsight is 20/20.

    Remember that about a year ago when Be announced the IA focus their stock shot up to somewhere around $30 a share. Way up from where it had been. It seemed like they were right on the mark focusing in on a huge market opportunity.

    However, when they did that they announced they would stop selling BeOS and other distributors would put it on the shelves for them, specifically Gobe.

    I think it was in their subsequent quarterly report they indicated that they had basically cut themselves off from their only source of revenue.

    The BeIA was a good idea at the time. Lots of companies were cropping up trying to tap the ‘no home computer’ market with internet appliances. So far I’ve seen only 1 product in the stores, and that is now discontinued.

    The problem was price point/features. Basically the internet appliance at about $500 with ISP service sign up requirement was about the same deal you could get from eMachines for a full-blown computer.

    Not to mention you can get a color handheld device for that same price, for the techie market segment.

    Sony’s new eVilla, the only BeIA device I have seen actually manifest, is Be’s only savior. Sony has brand name recognition outside of the computer market, and the money to put behind this product. Although I have noticed that the pricing structure is the same as other internet appliances.
    ( It also reminds me a lot of an old Mac classic. )

    So here’s what I think Be should do:

    Expand the Open Source portions of their Operating System ( there is already Open Tracker / DeskBar ). Maybe add the networking layer to the open source and other appropriate areas.

    Then go back to selling BeOS. Keep Free BeOS - I don’t think Free BeOS would have negatively affected sales of BeOS 5, I still bought the full version. I would have gladly bought it directly from Be.

    At least if they start selling BeOS again they have some revenue stream.

    And lets all hope that the Sony eVilla can break into the no-computer user market space.

    PS I’m still waiting for a BeIA powered WebPad - like a giant color Palm Pilot.

    PSS I am a stockholder, albeit not a lot of stock, and I purchased well _after_ the stock had plummeted from $30 a share.

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onto the rocks down below.
It is good, like Be.

Since 1998 - Until the Last User Leaves...
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