Back to my interest in gadgets for a moment, I've been interested in the reactions to Palm's announcement of a new mobile device called the Foleo. It's basically a keyboard and screen that you use with your smartphone. It's a little smaller than a laptop, and a little cheaper than a laptop, but otherwise, it's basically just like a laptop, except with its brains taken out and residing in a nearby cellphone.
I can understand the need for a keyboard that goes with a PDA or phone, and I have one that I sometimes use with my Treo, if I want to write blog posts while traveling, perhaps. My keyboard cost $99, and it folds so it's not that much bigger than the Treo itself, and the whole point of having it is to avoid having to carry a laptop. The whole point of PDAs and smartphones, in fact, seems to be to avoid having to carry a laptop. So it was no surprise to me that when Palm announced the Foleo, the response on all the gadget websites seemed to be "HUH?" and it was quickly dubbed the "Fooleo."
So my question is, if you're the CEO of Palm and you've just announced a product that seems to be universally perceived as a dud, what do you do? Forge ahead hoping that enough people will still spend $500 on this device to make it profitable? Cut your losses while you can and cancel the product? Try to market the heck out of the thing to make potential users believe there is actually a need for it? I suppose the American economy has been driven by many inventions that were initially thought to be stupid and useless... but what would you do if you were trying to sell a product that your target customers seemed to just hate? Give up? Keep trying?