Yes, very incompetent management. Ran a $100+ M business to the ground. I dont know why this article suggests that China and competition were to blame. Other semiconductor businesses have competition too, but somehow they manage to compete without disappearing from the face of the earth.
Finally, you talk of the ONLY reason why Trigent failed: management. Based on my many years of observation and several painful experience, a company will remain to be successful if it makes its own plans and also "replace" a portion of its portfolio every so often.
In marketing there is the following admonition:
If you don't make your own plans, the competition will do it for you. It appears in this case the competition did the planning. Admittedly, a dependence upon analog TV only gives little chance for custom value add features, but should not have stopped them from addressing digital streaming media much earlier.
If you know you are in a commodity market, it is better to lead in that direction rather than follow and make it expensive for the competitors to enter....which is a pill that most companies find hard to swallow. And while that is happening, you need to run hard to catch your next one (or hopefully more) trick pony.
All this is easily said and very difficult to do!
I dont think they should go into digital TVs, where the main differentiation could be the receiver baseband algorithms & its low power implementation. There are strong competitors already present in that market. They could probably look for "blue oceans" in solar,wind,industrial markets, where they could make use of their existing analog ckt design expertise.
Well, looks like they knew what they were getting into pretty well but also that they were lethargic in keeping their advantage above others. Any chip for processing media streams is going to become commodity withi a few years unless the company differentiates and keep adding features. But I guess by going analog they brought it on themselves. Still I would say they have the resouces to come up with a better IP for the TV market(digital?), what else will they do, thats their strength, right.
The problem with the flipping scheme is that commodity margins are tiny, so the share valuation has to be low unless there is IP to provide some market shielding. The market seemed to be China, so even if there was commanding IP it might be worth next to nothing. Bottom line is, making heaps of money now on products with basically no IP protection is a failing strategy in their market if you want to flip for a profit.
Alternatively, there must be something new in the pipeline that is promising-- if they followed the biz model of Google et al (nosebleed share prices used to finance followon products) they might have a chance at flipping. One thinks that they would try to fill the product pipeline, although the story makes it sound like they failed (or worse, failed to try-- in the best traditions of American companies that fail).