Taking the zoom out of ZUMspot

So I see that the ZUMspot folks have hit another speed bump on their road to general availability. Apparently the two-man crew that was the design and build team for ZUMspot have split up. HRO say they are still repping them (but aren’t taking any orders at this time).

(Click to embiggenate.  Link to page is https://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-015994.)

I’ve seen this problem time and time again in industry. Just one more tweak…just one more added feature…we promise we’ll release Real Soon Now.

That was an approach that worked (to some extent) back in the old days. With the Chinese ignoring IP rights, and beating legitimate technology owners to the marketplace with their own copycat versions of the legitimate product sold through eBay and other dodgy suppliers, you have to be quick on your feet to make money on a product today before someone steals your idea.

For all the mouth noises being made in recent weeks (thank you, Donald Trump, even though I suspect this will end up being a nothingburger) by the Chinese government about protection of foreigners’ IP rights, it boggles the mind that anyone would entrust production of anything to the Chinese.  It may be cheap and fast, but you always run the risk of someone saying, “Gee whiz, this is a great product, let’s ramp up production and sell some ourselves at half the price.”  And the Chinese government folks, whom you would think would normally be smacking them down for doing that, just sit, twiddling their thumbs, and grinning at the West taking another one on the chin.

Maybe NXDN support could have waited for the next version…

Maybe some American company could find a way to produce this sort of thing without it costing an arm and a leg, too.  Some industrial production is slowly coming back from China as American companies are discovering that the Chinese are discovering that the Chinese people want raises and more compensation for their labor, and the things they make can be made here just as cheaply (and maybe more cheaply) than in China today.  Also because of the threat of tariffs, but I think tariffs work better in the abstract than in the concrete; it’s clear that the mere threat of tariffs has already caused the Chinese to back down in some areas, while still blustering and tossing around tariff threats of their own about others.  And that’s politics, into which I’m not going to delve any deeper on this blog.

For what it’s worth, Connect Systems is in the same position with their CS7000 handheld, although I don’t think anybody is actually cloning it like they are the ZUMspot. I was on the waiting list for a long time and finally cancelled my pre-order and bought the Tytera MD-380, when it became clear that the 7000 was going to remain vaporware for the foreseeable future.  That was at least two years ago, and the 7000 is still vaporware.

I think the ZUMspot is a great little product.  It’s just too bad the Chinese duplicated it, called it the JUMBOspot, and stole their market because (in my opinion) they spent too much time dawdling over that “one more feature”.