Why SpeakerCraft Scrapped Nirv

May 1

Written by: Jeremy Glowacki
5/1/2012 10:41 AM  RssIcon

by Jeremy J. Glowacki
 
Let’s face it. The residential systems integration business, while seeming like a really big deal to any of us who make our livelihoods from it, is pretty small and inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. So, sometimes news that seems like a really big deal at first, may be nothing in grand scheme of things.
 
That’s how I look at SpeakerCraft’s recent decision to scrap its Nirv home automation product. It’s a big deal only to very few people.
 
Admittedly, we jumped on the bandwagon for Nirv a few months back by reporting that it was finally shipping after a two-year delay. But, in reality, the product, which had transitioned from an original plan as a full-scale automation platform into a glorified distributed audio product, never really left what most companies would consider the beta stage. There were 27 systems sold into the field, which is a big deal to those dealers who toiled away at getting those products installed, but we wouldn’t classify that as “fully shipping.”
 
It’s easy to take pot shots at SpeakerCraft president Jeremy Burkhardt because he’s never been shy about self-promotion or hyping the SpeakerCraft brand. And I suppose some people find amusement in seeing other companies or people fail. But sometimes a business decision is just a business decision. According to Burkhardt, the product in the field didn’t fail; it just failed to catch on before Nortek sister brand ELAN’s g! platform became very successful. The parent company pulled the plug on Nirv because it didn’t make sense to support two automation platforms in such a small industry. An automation line just costs a manufacturer way too much money to maintain.
 
“When you’re talking about getting into automation, you’re talking about millions of dollars in commitments basically forever to continue to support the system,” Burkhardt told me.
 
So, it wasn’t a hard a decision, according to Burkhardt, to look at both systems and ask if SpeakerCraft’s future was in home automation or if it should remain an audio company. “We’re the audio company,” he stated. “That’s what we’ve focused on. That’s what we’ve always been. We need to focus on creating the greatest audio products that work for custom installation and take good care of our dealers.”
 
That doesn’t mean that SpeakerCraft will abandon the idea of creating viable wired/wireless distributed audio products in the near future. In fact, there are plans in the works to build off of sister brand Proficient’s Zero wireless audio platform that was introduced at CEDIA EXPO (but has not yet shipped by the way).
 
“There’s going to be better ways to distribute audio that you’ll see SpeakerCraft introduce that build off of what’s great about Zero,” Burkhardt said. “I think the future is in distributing audio in wireless and wired systems that aren’t yoked to a wired format. And Speakercraft wants to help our dealers get more business. [Whereas] automation is intended for limited high-end luxury market, and there’s a lot more business for traditional SpeakerCraft dealers in the audio distribution category.”
 
In the meantime, SpeakerCraft, which had to terminate five employees on the Nirv project, is offering either full refunds or continued warranty services to the 27 Nirv projects in the field. “If you’ve sold to anybody we’ll be happy to take it back,” Burkhardt said, offering to field the dealer calls personally. “If you want to keep it, we’ll continue to support it with a warranty. Since the early ’90s SpeakerCraft has been a manufacturer for our dealers, so whatever has to be done, I’m going to help our dealers.”

Tags:
Categories:

2 comment(s) so far...


Gravatar

Why SpeakerCraft Scrapped Nirv

Sounds like spin to me, doesn't Niles also make speakers, élan as well, yet norteck is not closing those lines down. How bout it failed, can't you admit to that?

By Sean@currentaudio.com on   5/3/2012 3:15 PM
Gravatar

Why SpeakerCraft Scrapped Nirv

@sean It might be (the product failed to catch on with very many dealers), but the difference between competing speaker brands (Burkhardt claims their dealer base doesn't overlap with Niles') and competing home automation/control brands is significantly different. The dollars at stake are much different. The fact is that automation is not SpeakerCraft's core competency and in this economy you can't afford to dabble in something like that.

By jglowacki on   5/4/2012 7:05 AM

Your name:
Gravatar Preview
Your email:
(Optional) Email used only to show Gravatar.
Your website:
Title:
Comment:
Security Code
CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below
Add Comment   Cancel 

 

Archive
<April 2015>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
Monthly
April 2015 (13)
March 2015 (14)
February 2015 (11)
January 2015 (16)
December 2014 (12)
November 2014 (10)
October 2014 (19)
September 2014 (21)
August 2014 (13)
July 2014 (15)
June 2014 (12)
May 2014 (12)
April 2014 (14)
March 2014 (15)
February 2014 (14)
January 2014 (24)
December 2013 (11)
November 2013 (12)
October 2013 (15)
September 2013 (19)
August 2013 (18)
July 2013 (19)
June 2013 (12)
May 2013 (18)
April 2013 (17)
March 2013 (13)
February 2013 (16)
January 2013 (26)
December 2012 (9)
November 2012 (11)
October 2012 (16)
September 2012 (11)
August 2012 (15)
July 2012 (13)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (9)
April 2012 (10)
March 2012 (7)
February 2012 (11)
January 2012 (14)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (12)
October 2011 (8)
September 2011 (4)
August 2011 (7)
July 2011 (11)
June 2011 (12)
May 2011 (8)
April 2011 (6)
March 2011 (9)
February 2011 (10)
January 2011 (9)
December 2010 (4)
November 2010 (7)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (9)
August 2010 (7)
July 2010 (8)
June 2010 (12)
May 2010 (6)
April 2010 (8)
March 2010 (10)
February 2010 (11)
January 2010 (1)
December 2009 (6)
November 2009 (6)
October 2009 (11)
September 2009 (6)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (4)
June 2009 (5)
May 2009 (7)
April 2009 (9)
March 2009 (7)
February 2009 (9)
January 2009 (8)
December 2008 (9)
November 2008 (6)
October 2008 (7)
September 2008 (7)
August 2008 (3)
July 2008 (5)
May 2008 (1)
April 2008 (4)
March 2008 (3)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (2)
November 2007 (1)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (2)
August 2007 (3)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (6)
May 2007 (6)
April 2007 (4)
March 2007 (4)

 

Skip Navigation Links.
Skip Navigation Links.
download

The True Cost of the Lowest Bid
Read More»
By Heather L. Sidorowicz

My Greatest Fears as an AV Integrator
Read More»
By Todd Anthony Puma

Star Wars: ‘Chewie, We’re Home’
Read More»
By John Sciacca

PNWCEE Wows the Pacific Northwest
Read More»
By BJ Carty

My Go-To Brands
Read More»
By Todd Anthony Puma

Slide Show
Slide Show

Audio Video Systems, Plainview, NY
Slide Show

Station Earth, Fergus, Ontario, Canada
Slide Show

Audio Command Systems, Westbury, NY
Slide Show

Evolution Video and Sound, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Ncaa Football 11 Rosters For Ea Sports Highly Sought
Read More»
Where Come Across Ncaa Football Rosters Downloads
Read More»
Try Before Buy, Trying An Involving Warcraft Demo
Read More»
Ncaa Football Betting Facts
Read More»
World Of Warcraft Gold Cap Guide - Maxing Out Your Gold Include!
Read More»
Gamers Will Enjoy The Nhl 11 League
Read More»
rotection Iman Shumpert Knicks Jersey
Read More»
erienced a treat Amare Stoudemire Knicks Jersey
Read More»
ut Andrew Bogut Jersey
Read More»
forming Wilt Chamberlain Jersey
Read More»