Engadget recently issued an open letter to Palm’s CEO Ed Colligan – and even got a reply from him on the official Palm blog. Essentially, the dialog is about how Palm needs to innovate,… and Ed responded by saying that this is just what they will do.
Hugh! Eish! Ed has spoken…and suddenly, the fossilized organism otherwise known as Palm begins to change…dream on.
An Austrian proverb says that a fish begins to stink from its head. Yes, true, correct – but once the whole fish stinks, gluing on a new head won’t fix it. But the problem IMHO isn’t Ed(he’s a smart and cool guy who IMHO knows what he does) – the problem is the tangled mass of people that work for the company he leads. A company that lagged behind years on bluetooth, hi#res screens and even simple color screens…this can’t be the fault of only the upper-level management.
About half a year ago, I met a higher Palm executive(can’t say his name…NDA e shit, sorry). I wrote about my encounter with him at PDA24/7 – and parts of it had to be censored for a variety of reasons. For example, he repeatedly boasted about how 60% of Palm’s employees were lesbian(cut out on PDA24/7)…
OK??? This is Palm, not a porn star loaning agency…what the heck? What do sexual preferences have to do with development prowess? With creating a kick-ass Palm OS II?
Anyways, inside of Palm, a culture of self-satisfaction has evolved which is similar to the snugness encountered among Austrian subject teachers who cannot be fired due to a weird legal loop hole in Austrian law(tenure of office termination on lack of performance). And – like with subject teachers – changing the boss doesn’t do much to change their attitude.
What Palm would need is a “reverse brain drain”…hire up good developers and put them into a Skunkworks-style environment along with your existing shooting stars to hack away at new products, undisturbed by the existing slurry of mediocre employees. Then, weed out badly-performing individuals and…just make the company lean and mean again…
What do you think?
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