End of an Eos
Tuesday, Cisco went into closet-cleaning mode on its consumer division, and Eos's fate is up in the air. (See Cisco Flips on Consumer Business.)
I still think it might work as a standalone business, albeit one that's not yet profitable, but I don't know if Cisco has the patience or motivation to try that.
One thing's for sure -- Dan Scheinman, the executive who created and championed Eos, has resigned, as he noted on Twitter Tuesday morning. "Eos succeeded technically, but economically, we were still two years off," he wrote.
Like Pure Digital Technologies (creator of the Flip cameras), Eos seemed like a reach for Cisco. But it never bothered me the way Flip did, because Eos wasn't in an overcrowded market. Moreover, Eos was based on a core idea that's still valid: Media companies need a more effective way to go online with the mountains of content and data they're sitting on. (See Cisco's Eos Takes Aim at Internet Media Management and Cisco's Eos Reaches for Telcos.)
But I'm not the one paying the bills. Eos isn't cheap, partly because it's a hosted service. Cisco couldn't just throw down a bunch of tools for media companies to use -- that's been done, probably dozens of times over. The whole point was to be Web 2.0 hipsters for hire, helping companies figure out why they should create social websites and how to do so effectively.
Maybe I just like Eos because it feels like pure research, an attempt at dabbling in an area that seemed promising but wasn't fully defined.
It's hard to justify that Cisco should be the one doing that research, though. Some element of Eos will have to survive -- Devo's website depends on it! -- but as a Cisco property, I don't think Eos has much of a chance.
— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading