R.I.P. Flip

One of the best products EVER is the Flip camera. It slips easily into a purse or a briefcase and with the touch of a button, it’s ready to record an hour or two of video, depending on the model, and it can even be in high def. Then, the flip-out USB port and self-contained software make it a snap to edit, make a simple movie and instantly post it to the internet to share with friends.
I especially like the battery powered models. If I’m on the road, I don’t have to hunt for an electrical outlet and a USB port to recharge; just slip in fresh batteries and I’m good to go.
My coaching clients love the Flip. For private clients who are learning to be comfortable on camera, the Flip is much less threatening than massive TV gear. I can instantly show their progress from the beginning of the session to the end.

FLIP Camera

It’s a good ice breaker in group sessions when I have everyone introduce themselves to the Flip camera, and it’s a sneaky way for me to record a name and a face for each participant. I’ve sometimes joked that I could finance entire foreign trips with a suitcase full of Flip cameras. I brought one as a gift to the Maldives and the entire country wanted one! I could have sold lots of them for double the price. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get Cisco to ship overseas. I also got the cold shoulder from Cisco when I tried to work out a deal for a mass purchase for my students.
Which brings me to one of the dumbest business decisions EVER. Cisco is plugging the plug on the Flip. Read the press release here:
The irony is that if you go to Cisco’s site, there’s endless preaching about the importance of online video. Sure, the Flip isn’t perfect. The built-in microphone is cheesy and I was really excited when they came out with a model that allows for a port to plug in a real microphone. I bought a brand new Flip Ultra HD in anticipation of the microphones being available. I’m still waiting!
I can’t even imagine life without Flip. I bought one for my brother for Christmas, and I can count on getting a video of every time my neice gets a base hit in a softball game. I’ve used mine to record and share the musical talents of my son and all of his friends. Even stupid pet tricks.
According to Cisco, the Flip can’t compete with the video capabilities of smartphones and tablets. So I guess at my next coaching session, I’m supposed to hold up a phone and tell my clients to speak into it? Here’s hoping that some company with an understanding of this useful product will take it over and support Flip fans everywhere.