Digeo Cuts Moxi Staff. And Product Lineup.

Dave Zatz —  January 15, 2008 — 23 Comments

moxi-multi.jpg

Whoa. I’ve questioned Digeo’s retail strategy in the past and it looks like the hammer just came down. CEO Mike Fidler (who I’ve enjoyed speaking with on a couple of occasions) has chosen to step aside and half the staff was cut today. Less clear is which of their upcoming retail products have been axed: Moxi Home Cinema DMR, Moxi Multi-Room DMR, and/or the Moxi PC DVR software? The Home Cinema model is currently in beta testing… I had planned to cover some of their CES announcements with photos both from the show and from my review unit. Hm.

Update: Looks like my review DVR is one of casualties…

As a result of its updated product development direction, Digeo will not release some retail DMR products it had previously announced, including the delayed Moxi Multi-Room HD DMR and the Moxi Home Cinema Edition DMR. Instead, Digeo will focus on its next-generation consumer DMR, which Digeo has been developing at the same time as the cancelled projects. Details about Digeo’s new retail product will be announced later in the year.

(tip via Brad @ PVRWire)

23 responses to Digeo Cuts Moxi Staff. And Product Lineup.

  1. And here we have another example of how difficult it is to build the God box…

  2. This company has spent a lot of time and money marketing itself, but never delivering any real product.

    I’m not totally shocked at this.

  3. No surprise here. The thing was bleeding major cash for years. How many staff is that?

  4. 80 employees were let go…

  5. One of my internal contacts was one of them, which sucks. I exchanged emails from her work address just yesterday (giving me clearance to run photos from my unit), so I’m sure this was a horrible surprise today. Hopefully she’ll land on her feet soon. Don’t know the status of my other contact. As of today, their PR agency is still on the payroll – which is who I got the product updates from.

  6. That really sucks for them. It’s too bad because I really like the Moxi box I have through Charter.

  7. Is it just me, or is this press release very confusing? Before today, I thought they only had three products in the pipeline — the Home Cinema DMR (which no one would buy), the Multi-Room DMR, and the PC edition. And their OCAP software, of course. So is anyone else confused by the mention of the “next generation DMR” that they’ve been working on all along?

  8. Well, as a beta tester of the HD DMR, I can’t say I am surprised. A more useless piece of equipment I can’t imagine. On Fios it picked up about 12 channels, was jumpy and stuttered quite a bit and ran hot as blazes. I wonder if they’ll want it back.

  9. I guess this means I can stop waiting and pick up a TiVo HD now. :(

  10. I have a call with Greg Gudorf scheduled for tomorrow, hopefully we can get some clarity on their new plans.

    Razordullwit – They announced a ‘Moxi HD DVR’ back on May 7, 2007 along with the OCAP software. Of course, it was supposed to ship in 4Q07 – along with the OCAP software. That unit was targeted at cable MSOs. It isn’t clear if the unit mentioned by CNET is the same box or a newer design using the same name. Either way, not many details have been released on that product.

  11. Hmm… I wonder what I should do with my HD DMR box? And FWIW, I agree that the thing gets hot (they must’ve capped fan speed or something), but I could only wish it was my biggest complaint *cough* playback issues *cough*

  12. Mega, you’ve got more stamina than I do. After CES, which was obviously a Digeo charade, I’m just not motivated to spend my limited time on a status update.

    When you blow up 50% of your staff and a significant portion of your upcoming product lineup, there’s serious probs and we may never see a retail DVR. Heck, Digeo may not last the year. It’s possible they’ll use that same OCAP build destined for MSOs on someone else’s hardware in the retail channel, but I have to think the company is in trouble and the investors are obviously not happy. If I were Charter, or other MSO using these guys, I’d be looking for a replacement. I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone swoop in these next few months and buy the Moxi software or acquire the company remnants – the cuts could be part of a strategy to look more appealing for a buyout.

  13. Some alumni thought Digeo would implode long before now. Imagine the collective surprise of employees when they first announced working on so many products simultaneously when they couldn’t deliver one product on time. Leaders refused to listen. when a year and a half ago employees said it would never happen. They were right. Now suddenly Gudorf is saying they need to focus on one product. He should have listened. The only thing Digeo has going for them is the Moxi UI and that’s only good because of the employees that designed it.

  14. If you’ve ever worked at a startup where they laid off half the staff, the people that are left are not in good shape. Things will not go well for quite some time. If they don’t have the product leadership straight after the layoff or don’t have the money to sit this period out, they won’t last and might as well shut the doors now.

  15. Well, one beta test ends and another begins. Got notification on my acceptance to the FyreTV beta test. Woo-hoo!

  16. That’s one beta I’d be afraid to be in. ;)

  17. The whole thing sounds like a typical Paul G. Allen hissy fit. He may think he has valid claims about a total lack of product delivery from his company but I also know first hand the rabbit trails he’d send Digeo staff down. Working on projects at his home, his yacht, etc. or personal things he wanted developed that had nothing to do with Moxi product roadmaps. We have a pretty loyal Moxi subscriber base here but this is the third time they’ve “promised” us a new box and failed to deliver. First it was their Xstream chip (dead)…then their deal with Samsung (dead)…then their deal with ASUS (dead?)…*sigh*…that’s three strikes…

  18. The actual number let go, 76. The ones left ,as noted above, are screwed and might as well leave now. I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner. They will be closed within a year. The reorg of the remaining staff is a cluster. The staff that were let go were the ones that were doing a major part of supporting and running of the company. They only have one network guy, a couple of IT guys and one cable engineer left. hello, the compay is working on a cable product? right??….try closing the doors is more like it.

  19. Shockingly for Digeo, the new plan is to bet the farm on the MC(n+1) and explain away how the MC(n) isn’t quite right for the consumer market but is a good fit for the MSO/Cable market.

    Lets see. That was the story with the MCC product. And the MC1. And the MC2 (ok, they finally realized that the MC2 was a steaming pile and they might as well have just given grants to the Palo Alto office to play World-Of-Warcraft). And now the MC3. But wait! The MC4! It’s _soooooo_ cool.

    This company has made no economic sense since 2001. Really.
    Watching Mike F and Greg G realize over the first 6 months just how badly they had been misled was a treat. Of course, they wouldn’t listen to any of the minions that saw it- but eventually they figured it out for themselves- Toby F. really was just that….smart….. I give them credit for rolling the dice and trying to save it, but I obviously voted with my feet quite a while ago.

    The only use Digeo provides is as overflow parking for Costco and as an object lesson in why nepotism/cronyism and cults of personality are really bad.

  20. sphinx – some inside references, yes, but in my opinion, best…post…ever.

  21. LovRMoxi is spot on. Digeo had only produced one product at a time when the crazy plan to produce nine possible projects at once was released. It turned out even doing four was two too many. Not every project can be priority #1.

    CES was not a charade on the part of Digeo employees since they had no idea the axe would fall at all.

  22. Yes, no one who was involved with CES knew it was coming

  23. Oh, I’m sure most of the employees at the show were kept in the dark (and many are now without jobs)… But I assume someone knew this was coming (and in fact orchestrated it) yet chose to have the company attend CES with a story of products that will never exist. It’s too bad it came to this.

    As an aside, while I was in Vegas I met one of the guys who worked on Moxi before being acquired by Digeo. He’s also been with TiVo and is currently with Zing (under Dell).

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