Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Keep It Simple, Stupid

On the face of it, it makes sense to give users a lot of options when it comes to features, and let them decide what to use and what not to use. But decisions can be a burden. And further, users are often bad decision makers. It may be blasphemy to say that users want to be told what to do, but at the very least, they want to be lead in a direction.

Article Link (TechCrunch)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pleo creator Ugobe files for bankruptcy

The first real casualty of the economic crisis has emerged,
and it’s a lovable robotic dinosaur. Decreased demand for
expensive toys has left Pleo’s creator, Ugobe, wallowing in debt.
As a last ditch effort to remain solvent, they’re going to try to
auction off the rights to Pleo, but there’s no guarantee that the
poor critter will ever be made again.

Pleo has always been a favorite over here at CrunchGear, so we put together a little goodbye tribute video in case the adorable robosaurus is indeed extinct.


It actually seems likely that the rights to make Pleo (and the machinery owned over in China) will be
snapped up, but if one of the big toymakers does so, they’re
under no pressure to continue production. They might wait for the world
economy to recover, but they also might just shelve it, knowing
they’ve spoiled any competitors’ hopes of capitalizing on

Whatever the case, it’s a sad day indeed.

Article Link

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ugobe Folds

The company has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy—the kind of bankruptcy that's most like a tremendous meteor—and fired all of its workers. This is sad news for Pleo fans and horrible news for the now-ex-employees, but one part of the report was surprising: Over 100,000 Pleos, which retail at $350, were sold in the last year alone.

Article Link (Gizmodo)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Roomba co-Inventors Shift Focus to Cleaning Up Commercial Growing

Joe Jones, co-inventor of the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot while
he was at iRobot, talks with Robotics Trends about his new effort:
using robots to automate the labor-intensive task of shifting, placing
and managing thousands of plants for commercial Decorative plant

Article Link

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ugobe lawsuit

[A] half-million lawsuit [was] just filed that alleges Pleo and Co. are in breach of contract for failure to pay supplier Arrow Electronics.

The company's website was seemingly gone and no one was answering the phones, but it's apparently not all bad: the site's back up, and CEO Caleb Chung told the Idaho Business Review today that the company will respond in an "organized way" with a press release coming in the "next few weeks."

Article Link (Engadget)