In the time I’ve worked with Motorola I’ve become acutely aware of all the great technology that takes years to get to consumers or doesn’t make it to market at all. This is the cost of doing business. Projects get abandoned as priorities and resources shift. Sometimes technology execution takes longer than expected; sometimes there are problems with product marketing. More often a shift happens because customer needs change, and as the money goes, so goes production focus.
Motorola has gazillions (technical term) of projects going on at any one time, but the projects that get the most focus tend to be the ones that operator customers (cable and telecom) are willing to pay for. As an example, Motorola was roundly criticized several years back for not having a DVR on the market. Rightly or wrongly, Motorola chose to focus on HD set-tops rather than DVRs because that’s what its largest customer wanted to purchase. Luckily for Motorola, the business decision didn’t hurt the company’s position as a set-top leader, and when the DVRs did roll out, they had the advantage of all being HD-enabled. That said, however, consumers in certain geographic areas had to wait longer to get a DVR. Frustrating for those of us who knew the technology could have been out there much sooner.
Today, there are all kinds of exciting things going on in the mobile TV arena. I only wish we could share them all right now. Dave Zatz, fellow blogger and friend, called me out last week to ask when Motorola would have the cell phone portion of its Follow Me TV experience available. To this I can only answer that Motorola is working closely with its customers to bring this to market as quickly as possible. And, Dave, what we’ve talked about in public demonstrations is only the tip of the iceberg.
Here’s hoping we can reveal the rest of the glacier sooner rather than later.