May 21, 2009

New Palm? Old Stupidity!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikecane @ 4:59 pm


It was truly startling.

Ed Colligan had delivered on his boast that Palm had “game-changing hardware” with the Pre.

Palm, a company whose software was so damned good that it created addictions in people (one of them being me), had finally come out of the wilderness with the New New Thing.

After some initial skepticism, I finally grokked it and wanted it.

So much so that I did something I said I’d never do: create a blog around a product. This blog.

And although time constraints caused me to put it on hold, my enthusiasm for the Pre never wavered.

If anything, once I saw that Garnet emulation would be available, I was All Systems Go for it.

Palm seemed to be doing Everything Right too.

Until today, when they apparently revealed that within their heart, the Old Palm remains.

The Old Palm that treated its users with contempt, with condescension, with something almost like outright malice.

Today several disturbing tweets appeared in my stream regarding the PreDevCamp that had been percolating for several months.

I think the key post is this one, with these prime excerpts:

We have now developed a theme at Palm… “why would you do this if we’re not paying you to?” Each time, I have to explain that the event is not about Palm. It’s about the community. The brand is a vehicle to rally a number of like-minded people around, but it’s not the reason for the event. We do this because we want to build community, connections, cool products, make great software, solve problems, meet new friends.

Emphasis added by me.


In my opinion, Pam could not have been more short-sighted, condescending or dismissive of the community if she were coached beforehand by Chuq. If the intent of introducing Pam to the conversation was to get us to simmer down it didn’t work. Her call with whurely and subsequent email had the effect of throwing kerosene on an open flame. Clearly, Palm doesn’t get it. Why they even created the positions of community and developer managers is beyond me at this point.

Emphasis added by me.

And fatally, this:

I love the community as evidenced to the dozens of events I’ve created and co-organized over the past several years. I have a bitter taste in my mouth for the Palm brand now. I’m going to grab a mint and sit this one out. I want no part of building a brand that has such contempt for the influencers and developers that want to support it from the ground up.

Emphasis added by me.

This is the behavior of Old Palm.

With an absolute vengeance.

It’s as if after months of acting sane, these people could no longer stand the strain of the pretense and finally snapped, revealing their true souls.

I’ve been through this before.

I put up with it for years, but I’ll be damned if I’ll go through it again.

On June 6th, I will not be there to buy a Palm Pre.

Apparently there is only one way to tell any group of people that what they’ve done is unacceptable as a business practice — and that’s to hit them back in their business.

I’m really shocked by this turn of events.

Up to now, Palm had been just about flawless in its dealings. I had no criticisms to offer.

How they could do this with the Finish Line in sight has to rank as one of the biggest business blunders of the year.

I have to ask myself: If this is how Palm treats its supporters, how will it treat its customers?


  1. […] […]

    Pingback by Palm: We are not backing PreDevCamp - PreCentral Forums — May 21, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Reply

  2. Hi, Im so sorry to read that. I worked with at&t with bosses who just did not get customer support, or for the matter technology, and we were in the IT Department. I so understand Scot Adams/Dilbert and could only stomach it for a year.

    Comment by Tharomas — May 21, 2009 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  3. I personally won’t judge until I hear both sides of the story.

    Comment by JayCanuck — May 21, 2009 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  4. > On June 6th, I will not be there to buy a Palm Pre.

    Good! That means one more available for me.

    Some of what you’ve left out of your repost is the fact that the dev camp was a go with our without Palm’s participation. Now all of a sudden the organizers are stepping down because they are not getting palm’s support. They also said that apple didn’t support the iphonedevcamp either. I wonder if any of the organizers carry iPhones. You guys really need to grow up!

    Comment by Taharka — May 21, 2009 @ 9:19 pm | Reply

  5. Pisses me off too, but wont punish myself for what they did ;)

    Comment by Mahootzki — May 21, 2009 @ 9:44 pm | Reply

  6. I’m having second thoughts myself, after lusting after the Pre since its unveiling at CES. Why the secrecy about its release date? Why the selective issuing of Mojo to a chosen few (most/all of which are as yet unknown)? Will there even be apps available for it on June 6, other than the ones we’ve already seen? This phone shows a lot of promise, but I’m losing faith that Palm knows what it takes to make it a success. Alienating the community like this is not a good way to introduce a device, much less save a company.

    Comment by Michael — May 21, 2009 @ 10:25 pm | Reply

  7. I’ve talked to Pam myself, and she was certainly not short-sighted, condescending or dismissive of the preDevCamp community. I think the whole Palm community management team is stressed and overworked, plus their jobs are made almost impossible due to a PR team with Apple-like expectations of secrecy.

    Palm’s got a world-changing device on their hands, and ensuring nothing about the launch gets leaked is critical to their success. They’re dying to engage with the community, they’re just not quite ready yet.

    Comment by Lisa Brewster — May 21, 2009 @ 11:53 pm | Reply

  8. It has been nice reading some of your comments. I crawled the web half a year ago to find any bits of info about Palm newness that was supposed to be revealed in January. I then discovered your previous blog.

    I actually feel so sorry for you. I will get my Pre as soon as possible and I am so sure that webOS will be astonishing. It saddens me to think that you will boycott this company and its “steady stream of great products” because of such a minor detail.

    You really should get over it. At least see what Palm WILL offer for developers once the SDK is out.

    Comment by James Dunham — May 22, 2009 @ 1:37 am | Reply

  9. Please consider for a moment that there is quite likely more to this story than the negative bits that you’re latching on to…

    For starters, read this:

    And stay tuned…

    Comment by Steve — May 22, 2009 @ 2:19 am | Reply

  10. Things were blown way out of proportion and the opinions thus far are quite one-sided. Saying you won’t buy a Pre, based solely off a smear article is a bit harsh

    Comment by JayCanuck — May 22, 2009 @ 10:20 pm | Reply

  11. @JayCanuck: Where do you get the idea this is a smear job? I don’t believe conspiracy theories.

    Comment by mikecane — May 24, 2009 @ 10:44 am | Reply

    • I believe it based on my interactions with both Giovanni and Chuq (if you notice, he’s the only one that gave such a deeply negative response, the other basically said they were upset palm wasn’t supporting them).

      It seems it was a big misunderstanding that blew up. When the preDevCamp guys violated NDA, Palm said they wanted to cancel the NDA in total, canceling their private meeting. The preDevCamp guys seem to have interpreted this as Palm backing out of supporting them and each did blog posts (Giovanni seemed to take out all his anger in his post inn particular). Palm, however, simply meant they wanted to work without NDAs and just use public information and do want to support preDevCamp. Palm and the preDevCamp guys have since worked things out. And as Palm have stated numberous times, they intend to support preDevCamp 100%. Based off recent tweets by Chuq, preDevCamp organizers are all getting Early Access Program invites.

      If you’re gonna not buy a Pre based off an argument started by miscommunication, go ahead, your loss.

      Comment by JayCanuck — May 25, 2009 @ 2:24 pm | Reply

  12. […] This post was Twitted by mikecane – […]

    Pingback by Twitted by mikecane — May 25, 2009 @ 9:58 am | Reply

  13. Well, it looks like they’ve turned it all around and the relationship between Palm and PreDevCamp is amicable once again, with Palm offering them their full support:

    A follow up post may be in order.

    Comment by Palm Pre Applications — May 31, 2009 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  14. I saw that post when it was published. I’ll wait for the proof.

    Comment by mikecane — June 7, 2009 @ 2:32 pm | Reply

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