After the launch of Napalm, I sat down to talk with Scott Sellers and Michael Howse in their suite at The Venetian.
There is plenty of information milling around the Web on 3dfx's Napalm product launch at Comdex. I have included various pieces of literature from the company at the end of this article for those of you interested in more detail. My primary concern at this point is 3dfx strategy going forward. In light of the company's recent announcement of a third quarter loss, I think a little bit of calm, objective analysis should be the dish of the day.
Michael Howse, Senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, 3dfx
Scott Sellers, Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer, 3dfx
The good news is that 3dfx is going back to its rootes. I remember one of my first meetings at 3dfx, prior to company even launching a product, and the emphasis at that time was on entertainment technologies. In fact, I reminded Scott that it was he himself that painted a vision of 3dfx as an entertainment company. Fortunately for 3dfx, it seems that the company is going back to its routes to focus on that original vision. Obviously, 3dfx is without a CEO right now, and in talking with Scott and Michael it became clear that whomever replaces Greg Ballard will have to be an operations kind of guy. Someone who can ensure the company delivers its products on time, and executes on its business plans.
This firmly puts Michael in the driving seat of the marketing, and I think, from what I can discern, that both Scott and Gary Tarolli are probably going to be happier to focus on the entertainment market rather than try and be both a game hardware addicts wet dream, and the kind of company that a PC OEM would hit on for pricing and DirectX specs. That gives 3dfx a sense of balance that they haven't had since a little before their IPO. This is probably the most important thing to come out of the last few months at 3dfx. I think the company needed to get itself on an even keel, and to focus on what it does best. I was concerned about it's continued ramblings in the OEM space, but I hope that now, it will stick to its guns, rather than try and live up to the demands of financial analysts.