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RE: More Iridium saga

Heh...can't say as I'm surprised. My boss recently went on a hunting trip
and took an Iridium phone. It was expensive, the per-minute charge was
expensive, he sounded like the original Terminator through a phase shifter
and it didn't work indoors. Overall, a very underwhelming experience for
both he and I. It sounds to me like a decent idea with lackluster talent
which usually means the company paid for BS marketing rather than competent
engineering. Oh well, maybe we can do some HSMS off the trails of the
flaming satellites.  ;-)


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org [mailto:owner-AMSAT-BB@AMSAT.Org]On
Behalf Of Anthony Monteiro
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2000 10:40 PM
To: amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org
Subject: [amsat-bb] More Iridium saga

>I think that the Iridium saga will be provide lots of material for
>and Business case studies. There is no single reason why Iridium failed,
its a
>bunch of reasons together.

Just to add my $.02,

Several years ago (1991-ish) I had a job interview
with Motorola in Pheonix Az. Seems they were looking
for someone who understood telephony to do system level
engineering for Iridium. I was a likely candidate as I had
been with Bell Labs for many years. They flew me from NJ
to AZ for the weekend for interviews and house hunting etc.
After the interviews, they told me that I was EXACTLY what
they were looking for and offered me a job.
However, a few things bothered me:

1. The engineering people told me that there was "no way" they
   could deliver what the marketing people had promised.

2. The market for the service was unclear even to the marketing
   people. While some were stating that Iridium would offer
   "universal" cellular service, other people told me that they
   didn't think it would be cost effective in that role and that
   the market was more likely US workers in 3rd world countries
   where there was little or no local phone service.

3. There were some significant "personality" issues. People
   were sufficiently disgruntled that they told me this at
   an interview!

4. Although I was told that they were having an exceedingly
   difficult time finding someone for this job, they refused
   to meet my rather modest salary requirements (modest at
   least by Bell Labs standards) saying that it would violate
   the corporate salary guidelines. Seems they had a formula for
   calculating your starting salary based on your age, years
   of experience, etc. (but not the market!)

All in all, I decided to pass... - good call!


Tony AA2TX@amsat.org
North Andover, MA

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