Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

Summary: Notion Ink comes up with a weird pre-order strategy followed by incomplete sales terms only to trump it with news of sending a UI demo video to another website that claims no knowledge of it.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser
32

I feel really bad while I write this for the simple reason that Notion Ink was going to take India to the global map of consumer tech products. They are the first Indian consumer tech company to generate interest among gadget enthusiasts around the world and when the time came they floundered, not with the product but with how they are launching it.

A few days back my twitter stream was filled with blog posts about their eagerly awaited Android based tablet – the Adam being available for pre-order. I clicked on most of them, one by one looking for a link to pre-order but didn’t find it! I ranted asking for the link and as it turns out the brilliant engineering minds behind Notion Ink (no puns there) had made a blog post a few days before the pre-order news that blog commenters would be sent emails with pre-order links. I laughed out loud.

Giving them the benefit of doubt, them being this new startup by really smart engineers but then there was news about them not having proper sales terms in place. The initial document seemed like it was drafted without help from competent lawyers. This led them to taking down the terms and publishing an updated one. I was inclined to write about this but decided not to given that it’s their first big launch and things don’t always go as planned.

Today however they went ahead and did something they clearly shouldn’t  have. CEO Rohan Shravan has acknowledged the lack of hands-on videos and screenshots showing the interface, he made a short blog post today saying they’re sending a video to Android Police, a few hours later, Android Police claim no knowledge they don't have it and enthusiasts continue to wait.

This is probably the most amateurish product launch I’ve ever read about. Notion Ink makes a strong case for the existence of Social Media Experts. Hopefully they’ll learn and the Adam becomes a success, India needs it to be one.

Update: Android Police say they knew a video was being sent their way.

Topic: Browser

Manan Kakkar

About Manan Kakkar

Telecommunication engineer with a keen interest in end-user technology and a News junkie, I share my thoughts while preparing for my Master's in Information Management.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

32 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    I don't agree with you statement about Android Police having no knowledge about receiving video. I am sure you have mis read. Please go read androidn police post and may be you will have to add an update.
    yogendrarampuria@...
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launc

    Look at the video now. My conclusion is thus.

    iPad release was Awesome but product is Amateurish.
    Adam release Amateurish but the product looks Awesome.

    My choice is very clear.
    drms76
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    What I read is an Indian writer shows how to completely botch an article and headline. The video is up Manan. Time to change your headline, looks great to me and I bought one.
    ms4130
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    All I see here is that an Indian ZDNet writer learns how to completely botch a headline and an article. The Notion Ink video is up. It's not the best video but it's what I needed. I preordered and i'm thrilled. time to change your headline Manan. Simply awful. Sure maybe for you it was a timezone issue, but plenty of hours left in Dec 18 for me. He beat the deadline by 8 hours or so.
    ms4130
    • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

      @ms4130 I'm sorry, regardless of whether or not the video was delivered on time - the launch was a total disaster.
      sathyabhat
      • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

        @sathyabhat
        Launch?
        Is it launched yet. I thought they were only taking early pre-orders. The official launch will be for after CES 2011.
        spikevision
    • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

      @ms4130 putting up a blog post about sending a video to another website is plain stupid. And change headline? For what? The entire launch process has been nothing but shoddy.
      Manan Kakkar
      • Just saw your website

        @Manan Kakkar
        Hi Manan
        I just saw your website beingmanan and now I know who you really are! You have only microsoft products there...
        This is really such a bad article! Kindly do not review anything in future
        IyappanP
  • @ms4130

    what's the link for the video?
    shams.maudood@...
  • Too much in a hurry to give the scoop

    This is what always happens to journalists trying to beat everyone and rushing to let the scoop out. Now that the video is delivered (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPrC955MfIQ). ON TIME. How do you feel? Besides we are not talking about apple with their deep pockets. We're talking about a bunch of young engineers with next to no marketing experience. I send them my congratulations and also, I will definitely buy one of their tablets.
    spikevision
  • Too much in a hurry to have a scoop

    This is what always happens to journalists trying to beat everyone and rushing to let the scoop out. Now that the video is delivered (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPrC955MfIQ). ON TIME. How do you feel? Besides we are not talking about apple with their deep pockets. We're talking about a bunch of young engineers with next to no marketing experience. I send them my congratulations and also, I will definitely buy one of their tablets.
    spikevision
    • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

      @spikevision beat everyone? To what? Scoop? Do you think this is a scoop? Seriously? As I commented earlier publishing a blog post about sending a video to another website is stupid, besides the time between the blog post & the video being finally available isn't what it takes to upload a video. Even on a crappy Airtel connection. fyi, India is +9 to the East Coast.
      Manan Kakkar
      • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

        @Manan Kakkar
        Android Police implicitly said that the Adam was a Scam. What better way to make them swallow their arrogant ignorance and bad journalism than to make them contradict themselves by being the first to prove they were wrong. Nicely done NI. As for the upload timing, it has nothing to do with internet connection and you know it. As for the launching process, it couldn't be better. The Adam was created by and with the community input. Not like some big corporation's secret product. We have seen it evolving from an idea to a working product. It's not going to be pushed down our throats. We contributed to its creation by giving our input and constructive criticism. The launch process was absolutely not an apple-style launch process. We wouldn't like it either. All those additional millions for marketing glitter and smokescreen would just make the product more expensive. As customers who know what they want, we do not buy a brand or pretty faces. We buy a product in which we believe and that suits our personalities. Moreover, on Notion Ink's blog, they promise one video per day about an application or a feature of the Adam. That is what the community needs and wants. Not marketing fluff. I reiterate. You spoke too soon and you don't look good.
        spikevision
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    You, Sir, are a Classhole.
    Freedune
    • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

      @Freedune +10000000
      dream_big123
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    Making a video available to another website is not a problem for me(may be they needed some additonal $$$.who knows!) But the pre-order process sure was awful. I dont know whats the problem in setting up an order page.
    nithinr6
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    I think what Rohan and NI team has achieved is quite remarkable. These are bunch of young engineers who dared to dream big. It's a startup in a country like India which is mostly known for BPO's and services industry. <br>They made some mistakes but they are learning. NI is here to stay for long time and i am sure NI will bring more innovative products in the future. <br>Whatever you have written is negative Sh*t.
    dream_big123
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    Indian tech writer trying to copy american tech writers...pathetic journalism Manan...you are a disgrace to India..you didn't even bother to confirm with androidpolice if they were aware of this video or not...after seeing the user comments, you edited that part, but your summary still has it. NOTHING CAN GET WORSE THAN THIS...
    superpuma
    • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

      @superpuma not after reading the comments. The editor of AP contacted me.
      Manan Kakkar
  • RE: Indian startup Notion Ink shows how to completely botch a product launch

    Also, there was no need to mention Indian startup in the heading...why does it matter if startup is Indian or not? I frankly don't understand what you were trying to convey there...I hope this is the last article you were permitted to write...
    superpuma