Category Archives: design

Palm kills the Foleo…as I expected

Palm’s CEO Ed Colligan announced today that they were killing the Foleo, which was just about to actually ship. Good riddance, I say!

I totally called the Foleo-will-die thing waaaay back when it was first announced. Like, instantly. It was never clear who they were really even targeting with it. As a hacked device running Linux or something, it might have been interesting, but given it’s intended purpose, the form factor was stupid, the limited functionality and performance was stupid.

It suffered immediately and most obviously from the “one more device to lug around” problem, all other issues aside. No one wants that. A device that adds to the PDA/phone/laptop bundle people already lug around, in a size somewhere between all of them? Just say no!

“What was Palm even thinking?” comes to mind as well…to get a completely ludicrous idea to even pass the proposal stage, I mean, not a lot of bright bulbs in the room at any of those meetings, apparently. And five years was wasted on this. Five. Ouch. And a cost of “less than $10 million dollars to our earnings”, according to Colligan. Ouch again.

So many bad ideas seem to get past what should be layer upon layer of review…how do such bad ideas get as far as becoming a real product?

And for Palm, which has needed to step up its game for some time now or be forgotten forever, this was a really giant waste of time and resources. What’s even more confusing is that Palm still apparently doesn’t seem to get why the Foleo was so stupid, because they’re planning a Foleo II:

When we do Foleo II it will be based on our new platform, and we think it will deliver on the promise of this new category.

Good luck with that, Ed…you and yours apparently really, really need it. But first, I think I’d hope you could you crank out some improved smartphones or something. Just sayin’.

What products have you seen or owned that made you think “how did this ever get past the first hurdles of any design process?”