Monday, September 08, 2008

Time covers Zink

In this week's Small Business "special section", under the heading "Tales of Triumph and Turmoil", an article entitled "Ink Inc.", by Time magazine writer Jeremy Caplan features the Polaroid PoGo printer, and its key technology supplier, Zink.

While the PoGo printer is covered prominently, the focus of the piece, appropriate with its positioning in the magazine, is Zink, the company I've featured here numerous times (for example, see "February 2008 Observations: Zink Partnerships Make Really Big News".)

Jeremy's piece discusses the Zink business model:

The company, based in Bedford, Mass., is so confident of its intellectual property that it isn't even making its own machines. Instead, Zink is modeling itself on Microsoft and Intel, licensing its technology for use in other manufacturers' devices. Why battle Canon, Epson and Lexmark when they could become your customers instead? "If Intel were captive to one brand, it never would have become the great brand it became," says Zink ceo Wendy Caswell. "The same goes for Microsoft."

And I really like that he's has captured Zink's entrepenuerial "all-for-one, one-for-all" side, which I've picked up on in numerous interactions with the company:

Like most start-ups, Zink has wrestled with growing pains. When the company received its first set of paper packs from a packager, some had the wrong number of sheets. Rather than send the sets back, Caswell put 30 employees on an assembly line to weigh the 30,000 packages and fix the lemons. Chemists, engineers and others along the corporate ladder chipped in. "Everybody does the dishes here," Caswell says. But if Zink technology catches on, the same employees could be dining out soon.

And also, of course I like that I'm quoted in the piece. Thanks Jeremy Caplan and Time!


Interesting to note, too, the timing with the Zink coverage and the kickoff of Fall Demo 2008. Zink first caught my attention (see "Zinking in from Demo") at the Conference series' Spring 2007 edition.

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