Michael Arrington’s pet project, the Crunchpad tablet device, will apparently never make it to market, at least under that name.
Techcrunch announced the demise in a sad post today, citing a bizarre series of emails and messages from their manufacturing partner, Fusion Garage.
According to the post,
“Bizarrely, we were being notified that we were no longer involved with the project. Our project [Fusion Garage CEO] Chandra [Rathakrishnan] 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.”
What? Since when can suppliers expropriate a product for thier own? A year and a half of development, and the device a week away from being launched, and now this? Arrington’s account of the story is confusing, and states that Fusion Garage has not returned calls or emails from Techcrunch. He does mention that the company behind Crunchpad was in talks to acquire Fusion Garage, so clearly there is something afoot. The something afoot is more likely to be lawyer fees and mountains of legal documents that it is to be a usable tablet netsurfing device.
This story will serve as a lesson in what can go wrong to those thinking of joint ventures . As more details emerge, entrepeneurs will do well to study them.