Cradle reset and lure of the consumer


Cradle Technologies, a Silicon Valley start-up has been on my radar for a while, and many people have raved about its programable chip technology. Founder/CEO Artie Chang is a well known name in this part of the world, and is a serious chiphead. It has some serious Silicon Valley backers, but apparently even that was not enough for the company to bring products to market. It is proof that programable chips are still an inexact science from a business perspective.

The Daily Deal reports that the company is changing gears and will not focus on camera makers, copier makers and other manufacturers of digital imaging equipment, as well as system integrators that incorporate imaging technology in systems for video surveillance, image storage and other applications. The initial thrust of the company was communications and networking. It restructured and got an additional $12 million in funding.

Actually this brings me to my old article, Death of a Cheerleader, in case anyone remembers, in Salon, which I wrote a few days after Red Herring pulled down the shutters. Here is what I wrote:

And instead of being all about the investor, the tech boom has now become all about the consumer. Cisco, which for years has provided the plumbing for the Internet, recently spent $500 million to buy a company that sells WiFi products to consumers. After all, how many more Internet routers can it sell? Cisco now advertises its wares on prime-time television, while Intel hawks its goods in Vanity Fair. Blokes get their MP3 player tips from Maxim, and girls buy Sony Clie’s because they are cute.

Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, and even tiny start-ups are reconfiguring their business models. I am not sure, how successful they will be. I don’t think they will get too far, but I will get into those issues at some later stage.


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