// what do you think?


What We Have Here Is A Failure To Innovate: RIP Flip

The Flip cam was a great device - a year and a half ago. I’ve shot some of my most successful client videos on a Flip.  I still use my Flip, in fact it’s what I use to shoot the video posts on this blog.

Today Cisco killed their video star, but October of 2009 was when Cisco unofficially gave up on the Flip cam.

I wrote a post in Oct 2009, asking if Flip would respond to the opportunity opened up to it by Apple.  Basically, the rumors expected Apple to put cameras on their iPod Touch. With Apple’s built in video editing software and wifi connectivity, why would you need a Flip cam when you could buy the iPod Touch for basically the same price?

How did Flip respond? They made the screen bigger and updated the software. w00p! They released yet another version but never wifi enabled the Flip or built in editing software and they didn’t bring the price down low enough.

But they weren’t just fighting Apple. Flip opened up the market for DIY, low quality video but there were other (and better) low cost camera options.

One of the complaints about the Flip was the audio. Doing interviews in crowded places gives you a bad audio experience, which is easily fixed by adding an external mic jack. But they never even did that. The Kodak Zi8 beat out Flip on both features, by adding a mic jack (not hard) and price.

It’s sad really. I hate to see good products die but I especially hate to see good products die without a fight.

Here’s a super quick video with some thoughts on the topic.

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • Anonymous

    they had a a great brand name and whenever people mentioned a portable video camera in my circle, even if it wasn’t the actual one, it was called the flip cam. similar to how people call tissue kleenex.

  • http://twitter.com/ronnitino Ronni Tino Pedersen

    I totally agree! I loved using my Flip (until it broke last summer) and would have gone lengths to get a new one - not so easy in Denmark at the time - but there were just no logical incentives. No new features to trigger the final buy. I ended up getting the Kodak Zi8 because of its audio jack, but I never liked using this product as much as I did the FlipHD Mino. The usability, design and feel of the Flip was just superior.

    For a moment I had high hopes when Cisco bought Flip, but alas… They didn’t even kill it, they just let it fade out. Innovation fail - especially with so much consumer love to tap into.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Brand awareness does not equal success. Flip was the Xerox of their industry. Ironically neither was able to maintain their market leader position.

  • Anonymous

    yeah, that’s the sad thing. felt like they were the “first” to really define the space, but were playing catch-up or not taking advantage of opportunities.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Cisco paid an insane amount of money for the Flip brand and then let it die. A waste of a good brand, shareholder value and their own reputation.

  • http://www.atlantaeliteins.com/ Guest

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  • Matt Wakefield

    What about expandable memory? Zi8 had that one too, and I can’t tell you how many times I found the option to swap out a full card for an empty one invaluable. Flip just let the world pass it by.

  • http://burbal.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/cisco-pulled-the-plug-on-flip-too-quickly/ Cisco Pulled the Plug on Flip Too Quickly « Burbal

    [...] my colleage Tac Anderson argues that they company was failing because it failed to innovate, another colleague told me how much she loved her three month old FlipCam because “it was so [...]

  • http://snipic.com/2011/04/13/cisco-pulled-the-plug-on-flip-too-quickly/ Snipic

    [...] my colleage Tac Anderson argues that they company was failing because it failed to innovate, another colleague told me how much she loved her three month old FlipCam because “it was so [...]

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