Friday, September 12, 2014

The Demise of Little Printer

An email on the morning of September 9, 2014, landed in my inbox at 4:44am. I wouldn't read it for several more hours, but its subject line, "The future of Little Printer", was ominous. And in the letter, Little Printer's creators, Berg Cloud Ltd of London, described the planned demise of the product/solution which had garnered so much love and attention over the last few years.

Its late 2011 announcement, with lots of attention from many corners via social media, was something to behold - a hard copy device that people were clamoring for, in this day and age! This was my angle, when I first wrote about Berg and Little Printer (see links below). I would go on to  post more more Little Printer tales, including a two-parter last summer that chronicled my first hands-on experience with my very own product.

Product Hunt featured Little Printer and lots of enthusiasm
And the outside world continued to praise Little Printer, right up through this summer. Most notable was its much-liked-and-commented-on appearance on Product Hunt, the hot Silicon Valley-based website, Product Hunt, which is lately the "it" place for ferreting out new products and companies.

Berg's announcement didn't include specifics on causes forcing the Little Printer "hibernation", but those of us who have been around the block a few times recognize what happens when there are not enough paying customers to cover expenses. It's always pretty much the same story.

Details on the "end", and what could come to pass that would breathe life back into Little Printer, including open-sourcing its software, and/or sale to another company, can be found at the Berg blog. Again, for one experienced in such things, I offer that despite best efforts, the odds on any such revival is at best a long shot.

The timing of the bad news, some might note, was on the same day as Apple's HUGE announcement of new iPhones, etc. So it was easy to overlook this tidbit about Berg and their Little Printer. Some picked it up though, including Business Insider and its article by James Cook, "'Little Printer' — The London Startup That Tried To Save A Dying Art — Is No More" includes wording in its headline that carries a little sting, at least for some of us.

One wonders if the timing of the Little Printer announcement, coming on Apple Launch day, was intentional, at least sub-consciously, as a way to minimize attention, somehow in turn minimizing the reality of the bad news? Just like one could wonder if this post, published late Friday afternoon, might be seeking the same delusional outcome?

My Little Printer Posts on Jim Lyons Observations

February, 2012, Media Lessons from Little Printer
November, 2012, Little Printer Ships
December, 2012, Happy New Year
July, 2013, Please Mr Postman
August, 2013, Go Go Go Little Printer
October, 2013, Little Printer creators moving ahead

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