COMING UP FAST: A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS - DECISIONS

COMING UP FAST: A SECTION FOR ENTREPRENEURS - DECISIONS - MY BEST ... The decision in 1996 to restructure Psion. It had grown very quickly and had become quite complex. We were spread along the value chain - manufacturing, distributing, marketing, the who

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

MY BEST ... The decision in 1996 to restructure Psion. It had grown very quickly and had become quite complex. We were spread along the value chain - manufacturing, distributing, marketing, the whole works - and were beginning to resemble Apple, circa 1985. So we simplified the business by dividing Psion into four separate companies: computers, software, enterprise and data communications. The software side became independent in order to license software more widely, and that led to the creation of Symbian, which will be very successful in the long run. The restructuring enabled us to add to our management strengths across the company and made possible the acquisition of Teklogix, which has been very important for us. It was a difficult decison but led to a much greater development of the group.

MY WORST...

Not buying Palm in 1995. It had run out of money and its founders asked if I wanted to buy it, but at what I thought was an outrageous price: dollars 30 million. And they didn't really show me what Palm software could do. Today the methods of company valuation have changed and the price looks like nothing. Palm had good people and the underlying software was good, but we might not have had the muscle to develop Palm fully in the US, so there might not have been a happy ending.

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