RIP the Flip

It was about three years ago today that I shared a post titled “Trying the Flip” about one of my favorite tech toys, the Flip Ultra Camcorder. It was, and is, a fun, user-friendly camcorder like no other, which is why it grieves me to report that it is being discontinued by its maker, a move that is roundly being criticized by the technorati, and rightly so.

A couple of years ago, the original owners of the Flip, Pure Digital, sold out to the giant conglomerate called Cisco, better known as the makers of Linksys routers, to the tune of $590 million. While you can’t fault entrepreneurs for striking it rich, it is a shame that a huge corporation sees the need to kill a successful product with a whopping 35% of the market because it no longer fits its portfolio, laying off 550 people in the process!

The least Cisco could have done was to sell the business rather than shutter it but speculation has it that they wanted the proprietary technology behind the camcorder rather than the device itself, which doesn’t make much sense to me, but whatever. If there is a silver lining it is that the company is at least planning to sell, service and support the Flip through 12/31/13. So I guess the 150 or so videos I’ve captured [about one per week] are salvaged for the time being, but I did get rid of my Linksys router…