Welcome to Dew Point. Let me kick things off by giving you some idea of what you should expect to see here. Call it a blog, blather or even legitimize it as a “column.” The description is not that important. I just hope to suggest that my contributions will be regular although much less frequent than the reports you already get from the superb team of EE Times staff writers. It might be a musing, (occasionally, it could be amusing), a rant, speculation, or observation. It will provide analysis and above all else, opinion. If you are interested, check back each week. And comment, suggest, ridicule and even flame me.
But do you care what it’s called? Is there something in a name? Maybe.
We live in an unprecendented age of hyperbole. World-leading companies fill every supplier directory. Heroes are everywhere. With all the hype, spin doctoring and bold, visionary promises, it isn’t easy to uncover the truly viable hardware and ultimately, real market-ready products. Vapor ware. It permeates the technology news. Product launch failures are often well documented, usually in hindsight. History is a great teacher, but it may not distinguish reality from wishful thinking in technology and product roadmaps.
My promise is to provide additional perspective to help you understand whether the vapor touted in a press release has the chance to condense into something real. More to the point, will it quench a consumer thirst? Will the new technology fizzle, drizzle, or saturate the market in a massive thunderstorm? Or maybe delays will push the clouds out to sea where it will be too late to make any difference.
And that brings me to the second point - not just if, but when. In fact, timing usually is the larger issue. The public may not be ready for the most advanced new technology. On the other hand, early demand can lead to such widespread adoption of an inferior technology that the breakthrough is simply too late for the market. As the saying goes, being a step ahead makes you a leader. Two steps and you are a martyr.
And that brings us finally back to the name. You’ve announced your technology and promise it will be the greatest paradigm-shifting, lifestyle-enabling, always-on, energy-saving, multi-touch, multi-core, 3D social media experience. Well done. But when will it really hit the market? When will this vapor condense onto brick and mortar store shelves? That is the Dew Point.
Thank you for sharing your story. As for the question about small companies, I just don't know. With superlatives used so recklessly, it is difficult not to follow the crowd. It seems we lose a few terms that once were reserved for special circumstances with each generation. My children have been told at many school assemblies that they are all heroes.
Don, your brief intro to this column, struck a cord with me since it reminds me of a pair of individuals (that at the time I followed blindly): A CEO and boss, which pushed wishful thinking to an extreme while attempting to sell their vision of fiber optics for instrumentation. I still recall very clearly been a young engineer and these gentlemen, attempting to sell “vaporware“ as a remedy to detect breast cancer, in addition to basic industrial sensors. I realize that over selling any product is a common practice, but to tie into human tragedy and alleging cure for poorly understood diseases or illnesses is like selling snake oil in my eyes.
My question is: What is the alternative for small companies?
Welcome to eeTimes.com. You are off to a great start with this first post and I too like that martyr quote. It reminded me of something a mentor of mine once said after building a prototype of a new revolutionary product, "The worst thing that could happen to me now is to have a lot of people want to buy this product". The market wasn't ready yet, but more importantly, neither was his manufacturing capability.
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.