Fusion Garage's Grid OS will fail due to poor decisions

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: August 16, 2011

Did you hear about Grid OS? There was a lot of hoopla going around about TabCo, and the company’s brand new tablet device that was going to change the world or something. A new company, showing off a brand new OS (and tablet), that would turn the tablet market on its ear and bring the world to a stand-still in its majesty; a not-so-inaccurate representation of what the new tablet was supposed to be. That’s what we were being lead to believe, anyway. And, considering how saturated the tablet market is already, there were obviously some folks out there getting excited about the prospect of a brand new tablet to stir things up a bit. Unfortunately, the world was let down pretty profoundly, as not only was Grid OS unveiled, but it was done so with some of the shadiest marketing ever seen.

Let’s just admit that marketing is a shady endeavor in of itself. Not because it’s run by shady people, or that the business model is shady by any means. No, it’s nothing that nefarious. The reason it’s shady is because there are just so many things involved with it, and the fact that marketers have to reach out to so many people, which is hard in and of itself. A product won’t speak to everyone, but a marketing team has to make sure it does. Unfortunately, the marketing behind the Grid 4 and Grid 10 ran into a road block right off the bat, when the “real” CEO of the “real” company behind the tablet was unveiled to be Chandra Rathakrishnan.

As Taylor went over in his article regarding the Grid tablet and phone, the Rathakrishnan name should be familiar to those who followed the CrunchPad scandal, and subsequent release (and removal) of the JooJoo tablet. Fusion Garage is definitely not a household name, and for the homes that the name has been said within in the past, it was more than likely not said with the nicest of words around it. Fusion Garage’s JooJoo tablet didn’t make a splash in the market at all, and its removal from the market just made things worse. The truth is, after the CrunchPad fiasco and the release of the JooJoo, Fusion Garage’s credibility seems to be shot, and so the company trying to rebuild it by releasing a new tablet makes sense, kind of. But, they handled it the wrong way.

Why? Because they used a fake company to start the viral campaign, and they used a fake CEO to be the face to this fake company; all of these things would have been fine for a new company, or a company that had more traction in the market, and perhaps a bit more traction in the hearts of the consumer. But for Fusion Garage, this was just a cover-up, plain and simple. This was a company that knew they didn’t have the best of positions in the market, and especially not with the consumer, so they tried to hide the truth for as long as they could. That doesn’t fly, and just makes Fusion Garage look less credible. If you’re proud of your product, then you stand behind your product right from day one. If you want people to say Fusion Garage and not TabCo, then you promote your product from day one. You don’t send people through two fake things, only to present them with something that brings back memories of a failed device.

Yes, the tablet market is saturated. Yes, the mobile operating system market on those tablets is getting a bit condensed and hard to navigate, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for another OS, or another tablet. There are going to be more tablets, and there are going to be different implementations of our favorite mobile operating systems. Choice is fantastic, and as long as we still have it as consumers, we’ll be happy campers. But, with that being said, I don’t think Fusion Garage went about this the right way. Grid OS is an interesting way to implement Android, and I think if the company had managed to just show off some powerful tablets (and phone), along with the OS running smoothly, cleanly and without fail, then we’d all be having a very different discussion. That’s just not how it happened.

Where do you stand on Fusion Garage and their brand new Grid 4 and Grid 10? Do you think the tablet and phone stand a chance in the market? Let me know in the comments below.