Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chromecast blunders -- does Google need a few MBAs?

Google's new Chromecast, a device for streaming video on a TV set, might turn out to be terrific, but they have bungled the marketing and production.

I was on the Yet Another Tech Show podcast Wednesday and, based on what they had read, all the panelists agreed that Google's new Chromecast was a terrific product at a no-brainer price.  So, being a cord cutter, I ordered one.

After I placed my order, I learned that I had missed the deadline for a three-month Netflix credit premium. I was satisfied with the purchase at first, but now I am somewhat pissed at Google for giving all those folks who ordered a few days earlier a better deal.

It also turned out that Google blew the production planning -- my Chromecast is expected to ship in three or four weeks.

I came across a tweet saying that nearly 250,000 people had ordered them before the Netflix promotion was pulled -- who plans logistics and production?

I had to wait, but it will be worth waiting for, right? I hope so, but astute blogger Bob Cringley suspects that the Google demo overstated the capability of the Chromecast and when I checked the customer reviews on Amazon, I found that, while most are favorable, there is some dissent.  Some folks could not get it to work, experienced poor quality audio or video or discovered that they needed a second port to power the device if they had an older TV with pre-version 1.4 HDMI ports.

I didn't cancel my order -- I still hope to love the thing, but I can't help wondering if Google, with all their PhD engineers and scientists couldn't use a few more folks with MBAs in production management and marketing. Remember the Nexus Q?

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