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Arrington's CrunchPad, Dead Before Arrival

Did anyone really think tech pundit Michael Arrington would get his CrunchPad web tablet off the ground? OK, so we weren't surprised when he announced that the project had been scrapped.

There is, for the record, no shame in having a product idea not make it market. Especially when the claims made for the product seemed to defy gravity. Stuff happens, as they say.

Sadly, it seems like the CrunchPad had trouble from the very beginning. I was surprised at the weakness of Arrington's project team, as described in his announcement of defeat. Instead of the expected "names you know" helping guide the pundit's project to success, Arrington mentions only a small start-up, that somehow gained the ability to kill the product.

My sense, reading between the lines, is that Arrington shopped the product around and the big names didn't want it. I'm sure he has the necessary Rolodex and friends to get his proposal in front of people, but they don't seem to have been impressed. The CrunchPad also looked like it was being done on-the-cheap.

As Arrington admits in his post about the death, there are two sides to every story. And his doesn't quite make sense. Obviously, something happened between the partners, but Arrington's post only makes it sound like the other side fell off the deep end, deciding that if they couldn't control the project, they'd kidnap or kill it.

I wonder what they say about Arrington.

While Silicon Valley doesn't like products that never ship, it really hates people involved in deals that turn into nasty courthouse battles, as Arrington suggests this one is about to become. I think it is fine to protect your rights, but there ought to be a way out of this mess that involves less drama.

Getting a new product launched is always hard. People who "ship" products are Silicon Valley heroes. The non-shippers aren't bums, but they may have trouble finding funding and partners for their next deal. Especially if the previous one ended up in court.

David Coursey has been writing about technology products and companies for more than 25 years. He tweets as @techinciter and may be contacted via his Web site.

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