One anonymous source has now become three, so we're calling it over for Akimbo, the TV-over-the-Intenet startup which no amount of new CEO Thomas Frank's winning smiles could save. Writes an ex-employee:
It's true. I used to work for them over 2 years ago and all of my friends that were there are now gone. They laid off the last of them today. It's sad but LONG OVERDUE. Akimbo is now officially dead although the heartbeat died over a year ago.So who's left to move the deck chairs? More details on the sinking of the startup, which had raised $47 million in venture capital, after the jump.
Not even the HR person knew about it until the rest of the employees were notified (in an impromptu all-hands meeting in the middle of our normal lunch hour - how obnoxious!). The execs, of course, had to have known about it the day before, and one of them even assured some of us yesterday that we had "nothing to worry about" in terms of the health of the company or job security.The set-top box market is a tough one — most Americans have crappy bandwidth, and the demographic with enough disposable income for new services probably already has digital cable, a DVR and a videogame console already. Even Apple has struggled to sell many Apple TVs. Sling Media's Slingbox meets a niche demand for road-warrior live-sports addicts, but is still a minor success. "So what the hell is Akimbo?" Engadget asked in a 2005 review. Exactly. It never really found a direction; by the time Akimbo turned the ship around and ditched the hardware business, it was clearly too late.
It seems like the CEO was hoping he'd be able to swoop in at the last minute and play the hero. Unfortunately, such was not meant to be. They're only keeping all of the execs and high-level managers, a couple of engineers, the accountant, the HR person, and a little flunky who filled a position that wasn't even open at the time of his interview. Apparently he is related to or knows a friend of the CEO. What the hell were they thinking?!?
It's all a bit shady if you ask me. Clearly the board thought so, too.