Palm: Back with a Vengeance or Swan Song?

Palm: Back with a Vengeance or Swan Song?

Palm VBusinessWeek has an in-depth story (“Palm Pins Its Hopes on Nova“) about a rumored new Operating System by Palm called Nova. I wrote ‘rumored’ here because although Palm officials confirmed it they are also known for missing deadlines and shipping dates. So it has about as much basis as a rumor.

There are lots of juicy quotes in the article but there is one that made me smile enough to reprint here:

During an interview at Elevation’s offices, McNamee declines to say how much share he expects Palm to get, when Anderson pipes in, “Two percent would be just fine.” With more than a billion cell phones sold each year, every point counts.

Only 2%? Sounds reasonable right? Well, I guess these entrepreneurs haven’t read Guy Kawasaki’s “The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs” post. I’m thinking specifically about lie number 11:

“All we have to do is get 1% of the market.” (Here’s a bonus since I still have battery power.) This lie is the flip side of “the market will be $50 billion.” There are two problems with this lie. First, no venture capitalist is interested in a company that is looking to get 1% or so of a market. Frankly, we want our companies to face the wrath of the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice. Second, it’s also not that easy to get 1% of any market, so you look silly pretending that it is. Generally, it’s much better for entrepreneurs to show a realistic appreciation of the difficulty of building a successful company.”

Nova might just be the miracle that Palm needs. Palm’s stock is down 80% since last year and they are low on cash too. This quarter they expect 50% less sales than analyst expected and their last great product introduction, the Foleo, failed miserably with Palm pulling the product only 4 months after its introduction. 

So, will Nova be the miracle solution that puts Palm back on the map or its swan song?

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