Disruption From the Bottom Up: Flip

Flip Video I think it’s fair to say the $100 Flip video camera is a disruptive play. I’m not too surprised it didn’t come from Canon or Sony, but instead from a company who established their capabilities by building even cheaper cameras

Pure Digital started out, in 2002, making a digital version of the single-use “disposable” camera, sold through drugstores. The company’s research suggested that there might be a market for a similar product that took video images, and it created a one-time-use camcorder. But a number of consumers who liked the camcorder didn’t like the one-use limitation (and at least some of them figured out ways to skirt that limitation).

So when the first version of the Flip emerged in May 2007, its roots were in the point-and-shoot-camera world. That meant the company was far more conversant in how to make do with cheap components and keep prices down than in dreaming up the newest innovation that motivates the bleeding-edge camcorder freak.