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Bob Fullerton Q&A

Last Updated Mon Jul 10, 2000 - 1:55 PM EDT - By James Hromadka , Marcus Adolfsson

Springboard costs & Cases

Bob Fullerton and James' backVC (Marcus): What price range do you think is reasonable for Springboard modules? What is the lowest price that could make any money? $29.95? $39.95?

Fullerton: Everything is skewed right now because of the flash memory pricing. All of these Springboards have some type of flash memory in them, whether [they use] a tiny amount of memory or 2MB or 8MB -- all of that flash is being consumed, so you have to find it from distributors and other markets; these people take these prices and triple or quadruple them, so it's tough right now. It's possible to have a $29 Springboard module, when the pricing is [right]. We have a lot of small companies that are trying to get the same piece of pie as the AT&Ts of the world and the Sonys and everyone else.

VC (Marcus): What do you think the market is for a $300 Springboard module?

Fullerton: It depends on what it does. If it has a lot of multi-function, I think there is an extreme market because if you can combine a wireless device with a music device with maybe a video device, then I think you've got some value there.

VC (Marcus): Do you think that it's pivitol for devices to be small to be successful?

Fullerton: I think it needs to be small; with wireless you've got an antenna, so you're always going to dealing with some appendage from that standpoint. MiniJam has an external slot and and internal slot. With our MMC reader/writer, we're just going to just do the internal slot so you have just a single height module. Obviously the single height module is the "holy grail", but we have had very few people complain about the form factor. I don't want to go much larger than MiniJam.

VC (Marcus): What do you think the market is for additional case designs? Alot of people have cases such as this one (holds an E&B Slipper) or James' one (Rhodiana Visor case). The only Springboard modules that you could fit in here would be like the InnoPak.

Fullerton: We like the case that comes with the Visor Deluxe because it has the expanding size, so MiniJam fits in there great and you can get to the keys on the top. But that's just like a pouch, so we're designing some cases and working with case manufacturers to design things that work nicely with these oversize modules and have accessory pouches for your other things. Access to the keys and a beltclip is important or a way to carry it with a strap or something like that.

VC (James): What has been the greatest challenge that you've faced in developing the MiniJam and the SixPak throughout their development history?

Fullerton: Aside from the fact that we're building a company here at the same time, with the Visor launching in September and us hitting basically two home runs with the SixPak and MiniJam, we had to quickly build the company and get some good engineers on board. From there the hurdles have been the memory issue with flash cards and with internal memory for all of our Springboard modules.

VC (James): Thank you Bob for your time.


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