Monday, November 03, 2008

Slowing Dash

The economy, she is a fickle beast. My favorite GPS company, Dash, has taken the hit, as well: they've laid off 1/3 of the staff, and decided to exit the hardware business. However, there are some fascinating points about their move, as GigaOM points out:
  • It’s changing its business model from consumer-focused to business-to-business.
  • As part of this change, it will stop making and selling its hardware.
  • Instead it will license its platform to makers of automobile on-board navigation systems, smartphones, netbook-style mobile Internet devices and other consumer electronics.
  • COO Rob Currie will replace current CEO and founder, Paul Lego.
  • It will cut 50 jobs, or roughly two-thirds of its workforce. After the cuts, Dash will employ 30, mostly in engineering and support. Current Dash owners will continue to get their software updates and the Dash Driver Network will stay up.
What I find fascinating is that the CEO essentially fired himself: he realized there was no need for a CEO and a COO if they were going to go into a more B2B model. I also love that they are focused on keeping the Dash Network going (if only because of my own investment), and they look like they will be expanding to cell phones.

Again, GigaOM say it best:
Bottom line: The economy might have forced their hand, but Dash had to come to this realization sooner or later. If they succeed, they will become a case study for Harvard Business School on the art of rebooting. If they fail, they will join a long list of Silicon Valley’s failed attempts at consumer electronics success.
I'm cheering for you, guys.


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