Dubinsky Pens a Good Luck Letter to Palm
Donna Dubinsky, the former CEO and co-founder of Palm and Handspring, (now CEO of Numenta) has published an opinion article in the Silicon Valley paper, Mercury News. The piece entitled: The seven lives of Palm computing gives a good history lesson on the many corporate transfers and maneuvers over the course of its nearly 20 year lifetime and wishes the firm well with its new stewards. Dubinsky also gives a good overview of many of Palm Inc.'s accomplishments with a nod to Palm's product culture.
A great product culture requires an ability to reject conventional wisdom. Time and time again, Palm thought deeply about the right trade-offs for users. When Palm created the Palm V, for example, it made the battery not removable to create a thinner and more beautiful product, a highly controversial decision at the time. The product was wildly successful.
A great product culture also tolerates failure. Palm always developed both evolutionary products — safe products with additional features sought by customers — and revolutionary products, riskier products that might require a few iterations before success. It took three generations of the Treo to create a huge hit.