In November 2009, Logitech purchased Lifesize for $405 million in cash. Recently, Logitech sold 62.5% of Lifesize for $17.5 million equaling a $28 million valuation. What happened to the once "solid number three" choice of hardware video conferencing products? Without any inside information and writing using only my lack of wit and usual subjective opinion, here are my thoughts about what used to be a great ship with a great captain, turned into a ship with no captain then turned into a captain with no ship.
Lifesize was once considered a top tier hardware product company. They had great products that were user friendly in an era where others seemed to not give so much as a second thought about the user experience. Things were consistent along product lines and they seemed poised to stay a relevant player in the market for a long time to come. Then Vidyo happened. Vidyo shook the industry up so much that it forced everyone to backpedal and create their own version of software codecs. Many tried, some succeeded. Many more failed by either launching poor products or products that the industry wasn't ready for. Lifesize, from my perspective, completely disregarded their hardware products and put all their eggs in the software basket to the point of hiding their codecs at Infocomm 2014 as I wrote about here.
There is an interesting comment that I pulled from their blog:
"We’re committed to delivering the most dynamic cloud-based video collaboration and meeting platform to the market..."
I don't understand this. Does this mean an abandonment of room based hardware altogether? The "cloud" space is already thick with fantastic products (with Zoom leading the charge in my opinion) so a shift away from hardware will mean that Lifesize will be forced to come up with something that differentiates them from everyone else. Name recognition and leadership can only take them so far.
Let's hope they can right the ship and get back to doing what they used to do best, making a great user experience, even if it is cloud based. I wish them luck.
Interesting relevant links
From January 2013
The first opinion piece I've read
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