Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

The Flip Video Story: 10 Years of Iteration, Fighting the Future and Selling Out

Pure Digital Technologies, Founded, San Francisco, 2001.

Ritz Photo Disposable Dakota Digital One-Shot Camera: Released July, 2003, by Pure Digital Technologies. ("Each camera allows for 25 images to be taken; camera must then be returned to Ritz Camera or Wolf Camera where you can produce digital prints and a Photo CD.")

Pure Digital Funded: January 1, 2004, $28 Million.

Pure Digital's CVS One-Time-Use Camcorder: released June, 2005. ("You purchase it from any CVS location, shoot your clips, and return it for DVD processing.")

Pure Digital Point & Shoot launched: May 1, 2006. ("The camcorder plugs directly into a PC or TV and has built-in sharing software which makes it easy to archive or email home movies.")

Flip Video launched (the previous product rebranded and iterated): May 1, 2007

Pure Digital funded: May 1, 2007, $40M in Series E funding.

Flip Ultra: Iteration released September 12, 2007.

Flip Mino version released: June 4, 2008.

Ritz Camera files for bankruptcy protection, is sold: February 22, 2009.

Two million Flip Video cams sold: prior to March, 2009.

Company sold, along with its 100 employees: March 18, 2009, for $590 million, to Cisco, in stock, with Pure Digital's CEO becoming SVP and general manager of consumer products of Cisco. "It is expected that Cisco will release versions of the Flip recorders that can connect to wireless networks. There are other surprises in store as well…."

Flip Ultra and UltraHD: released Spring, 2009.

2010 Flip SlideHD: April, 2010. ("Both in spirit and in practice, the Slide seems like a perversion of Flip's essential simplicity.")

2010 Flip UltraHD: September, 2010.

Number of "surprises" or "wireless" cameras released: zero.

Former CEO of Pure Digital leaves Cisco, to "pursue new opportunities": February, 2011.

Flip Video products discontinued: April 12, 2011. Cisco restructured; 550 people laid off.

7 Comments / Post A Comment

Murgatroid (#2,904)

Scream 4 might have been a completely different movie had it come out in 2003.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

Those CVS one-shots were awesome .. my kid and I could never quite get the Make hack to turn it into a reusable one to work, but then the Flip arrived. Probably a good idea to get one of the HDs before the eBay freaks corner that market.

sharilyn (#4,599)

I received a FlipHD as a gift and its a truly excellent product and very fun to play with! But for the record, I also LOVE my (long-since discontinued) sony MiniDisc recorder.

BadUncle (#153)

The Flip was fun and convenient, but it was no Pixelvision Kiddiecorder.

sigerson (#179)

My toddler son can operate our FlipHD. it's that simple. Point, press big red button and record.

I do have a complaint about the built-in USB port, which is on a swing-arm device that makes it very awkward to plug into the back or side of my computer where I have a USB port.

stunt (#11,126)

IMO, it wasn't Cisco or bad design that killed the Flip, it was the cell phone with built in video capabilities.

sharilyn (#4,599)

Look for Flip cameras to be the next hipster fetish-du-jour.

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