Michael Arrington's ambitious project to create a super-simple web tablet is dead, drowned in a bathtub half-full of greed and selfishness. This isn't a happy story.
It wasn't because of high costs, as previously rumoured. Essentially, Arrington got screwed. Badly.
But the email went on. Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. Our project. Chandra said that based on pressure from his shareholders he had decided to move forward and sell the device directly through Fusion Garage, without our involvement.
Err, what? This is the equivalent of Foxconn, who build the iPhone, notifiying Apple a couple of days before launch that they'd be moving ahead and selling the iPhone directly without any involvement from Apple.
Chandra also forwarded an internal email from one of his shareholders. My favourite part of the email: "We still acknowledge that Arrington and TechCrunch bring some value to your business endeavor…If he agrees to our terms, we would have Arrington assume the role of visionary/evangelist/marketing head and Fusion Garage would acquire the rights to use the Crunchpad brand and name. Personally, I don't think the name is all that important but you seem to be somewhat attached to the name."
And with that, the entire project self destructed.
Be sure to read the entire story over at TechCrunch. The whole situation is lousy, and FusionGarage certainly doesn't come out looking all that smart in it. I can't imagine anyone wanting to work with them again after this, but I guess we'll have to wait and hear what their side of the story is. [TechCrunch]