Tablet Talk


Oh Jolla, how you failed me.


Jolla's 13,000 backers raised $1.8 million to build a tablet

Jolla is a Finish company trying to raise out of the ashes of Nokia, and they are completely my kind of stuff. A Linux based operating system, Android compatible, European company, a lot of great Open Source hackers on the staff.

So when they raised money for a tablet, I jumped. I never jumped on the phone, because that's the device I actually need, but with a tablet, I can get adventurous and try something new. A lot of people questioned the crowdfunding campaign, tough.

Me? Just look what I wrote:

The whole campaign probably was just done to show investors how much interest there is.

They raised 42 millions – there was no financial need for the 1.8 millions from crowdfunding. The crowdfunding just helps them get more money, because an investor who sees a company, that can sell 13.000 tablets, that are not even produced yet, will likely be happier to invest than otherwise.

I’m looking forward to mine.

He showed a prototype on stage when the launched the campaign, and it looked exactly like the renders. The Hardware basically is finished. Like Nokias N1, it’s Intel/Foxconn reference design repacked.

With all the talk about how much Jolla will fail, people fail to realize that they already succeed. They have a phone on the market for over a year now, they managed to go into a lot of markets all over the world, they built a network of smaller companies (from cases to apps to services), they have raised 40 million from investors (and this is not their first round) and they were able to sell 10.000 tablets, that aren’t even produced yet. 10.000 preorders for a tablet, with no special hardware, that will ship 6 month after the preorder.

They won’t get significant market share in the OS statistics, but that’s not what they are trying to do. They are trying to build a sustainable business and they already succeed at that.

A year gone by, I still don't have my tablet, which was scheduled for April. On October 14th I got the message that my tablet will be shipped and that I now have to pay the tax ($40) which I did. After the 10 claimed working days they said they needed to process the order, still no update on the shipping. I opened a support ticket, getting the answer 'We will look into it' - now a week later, still nothing.

In the meantime, Jollas CEO jumped ship and the company was restructured, splitting up in hardware and software arms.
I still don't know what happened. They raised 42 million dollars of VC money, 1.8 million dollars from crowdfunding, the tablet was nothing more than a repackaged reference design and still they are not able to ship more than 200 devices after a full year.

Funny thing is, all other Crowdfunding campaigns I took part in went by OK, maybe a month late. And all those were done by one guy in his spare time. Not by a VC funded company of ex-Nokians.