November 3, 2008

Dash Navigation - Change on the Horizon - Lays off Staff

Word has come out that Dash Navigation is changing its approach to its business model, and in doing so, laying off 50 employees, leaving the hardware business, and concentrating its focus and going Business to Business.

Wow; that will change its offering and its value proposition in the marketplace. According to Gigaom, they will be laying off 50 employees, and keeping abut 30 mostly engineering positions that will support their software based business model going forward. As they do go forward, they will be targeting other hardware, think phones and maybe OEM navigation devices in cars, so that they are out of the cutthroat GPS hardware business. They will continue to support current users.

The traffic collection and processing capabilities are advanced, and in my opinion, highly accurate, but the Dash Express ran into a lot of barriers to its success:

  • Entrenched competition with growing downward price pressure.
  • Monthly payments that were hard to get people to buy into
  • A good interface and overall navigation solution, but not an amazing one.
  • The Economy.... don't under estimate what a sagging economy did to this high end launch.

    I loved the promise of the Dash Express better than the reality of it. I found that while I knew that getting up to Boston would take 1:12 minutes, the route that was plotted out still stunk. What about all of those surface roads that "must" offer a faster route? I realized that I don't think that they existed. It may just be a sad reality that I don't need the super advanced routing but just a consistent and accurate read on what my various travel times are going to be.

    Poisoned Pond?
    A lot of people talk about a poisoned pond effect where the failure of the first offering out ruins the ability of others to follow. Well, the Insignia CNV-10 and CNV-20 are following in the connected GPS pathway, but let me tell you, if Dash made the pond slightly unpalatable, the Insignia will ruin it like dumping a drum full of toxic waste. I hope that TomTom's HD, and Garmin's work on the Nuvifone somehow come to the US and offer not only the promise, but the scale to make a true difference in everyday lives of the masses out there. If they can't, maybe I can buy the new Dash software for my iPhone.....

    Thanks Jeff for sending this in.

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    Posted by Scott Martin at November 3, 2008 9:12 PM
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