The Take #5: INTEL’s outside…of their comfort zone

When you think of Intel, do you think of social apps? How about cartoon avatars? Here’s a lesson on how to destroy a brand in one app.

Intel, those smart dudes that make most of the world’s PC chips released a head scratcher for me and I think this is one of the most important lessons a company can learn. Just don’t do it the way Intel is doing it because it could cost you your credibility.

Let me back up.

Intel is known for smarts. They make the chips that power the smarts of our computers. They’ve been doing it for over 4 decades, founded by Gordon Moore. They did $52 Billion (with a b) in revenue in 2013. They are a publicly traded company with over 100,000 employees.

So what did they invent next? Some sort of space-age thermal powered processor? Nope, how about something called Pocket Avatars…a social app for iOS and Android that offers video-like mobile messaging that uses cartoon avatars to relay your facial expressions as your voice speaks through it. Pocket Avatars “uses your front-facing camera to record your message, then it combines your voice and expressions with one of over 40 characters, including Lego figures, Care Bears, Annoying Orange and Gumby. Roughly half the characters are available for free, while the others can be purchased in-app for $0.99 each. Messages can be sent via SMS, email and Twitter.”

If this isn’t enough of a head scratcher, they think that they can make money from this. Intel VP Mike Bell actually said that it is not out of the question that this could become a substantial revenue generator for intel. He cites the billion dollar valuations that other messaging apps are receiving but let me remind you Mike that valuations that high do not equate to revenue. Now when I think of Intel I think of care bears and gumby. Not Moore’s law and high-end computing. Brand erosion by an app.

My name is Rob Woodbridge and this has been The Take.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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