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Telesym, RIP


April 17, 2005 09:09 PM PST

George sent in a link to this on Telesym:

Software startup TeleSym calls it quits

I hate to see it. Telesym was one of the local mobile devices companies I have been following. I was really hoping they would pull through.

Comments (3)
J, May 6, 2005 12:02 AM:

I just have to mention that it should have been obvious to them that Wi-fi is ill suited for roaming cell phone calls. If you could wake-on-lan over Wi-Fi, maybe incoming rings could work, but with current PDA power requirements, it's just not that practical unless it's charging at your desk most of the day.

C, May 16, 2005 11:11 AM:

In the last 3 years PDA, especially industrial PDAs have advanced in leaps in regards to battery life. Industrial PDAs from outfits like Sharp, Intermec, and Symbol were tested and would yeild battery life up to 6 hours with an active call going over WiFi.

Problem is that market is not mature enough to really get a revenue stream just yet and the devices in question are $2k a pop (like for a Symbol 9000 hand scanner)

But the PDA issue overshadows the true worth of the product , that is being a VOIP soultion for the mobile office. You could take a laptop w/ wifi and make/receive wifi phone calls at any wifi equipped location in the world. THE WORLD! and it worked GREAT!

Nobody but Telesym could do that reliably and maintain toll quality for the call and thats still the case.

J, May 19, 2005 07:36 PM:

I appreciate the response. I'm sure the tech was good and some of the people were cool. My point is that it's such a standard .com story - develop cool technology and have VC's push for broke to get in some market that's just not going to happen any time soon. Public Wi-Fi is still really sporadic, and windows media devices suck too much power (or are too expensive, as you mentioned).

Cell phone companies have already solved tower handoffs, billing, QOS, etc. And it's not that expensive. Mobile VoIP is still a ways off.

Why not do as you said - market a product for the PC/Laptop and prove the tech before people take it mobile? I suppose Skype would be competition now, but it wouldn't have been several years ago.

BTW, the new CEO's comments are so transparent. DISCLAIMER: I have no internal knowlege - this is pure speculation.

"We purposely did not try to run this into the wall," said Hart, who joined the company last summer. "We did not want to leave creditors hanging. We wanted to shut down in a professional fashion."
Translation: I get a bigger bonus the more money I get back to the investors.

"The underlying technology just wasn't up to the task," Hart said. "It 'demos' well, but in a full-scale deployment, it doesn't hold up."
Translation: The technical crew probably did build way too much technology before going to market, but this is usually a product management/vision failure. Where was the board for all this? How do you let a funded company run for 5 years without market validation?

"We determined that we had to completely rewrite the technology from the ground up," he said. And in the end, Hart said, the board decided it was not worth the expense.
Translation: Ahh... true visionary leadership. A rewrite is NEVER the option at this phase. It shouldn't even have been considered for discussion. It's not the developer's fault. New management was brought in to get creative with market targeting and refactoring the company - not the technology.

Anyhow, I'm sure there were some very contentious internal issues and I don't mean or care to delve into them. As I said - it's such a common mistake and these comments are more generic than specific.

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