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October 19, 2009

An Open Letter To T-Mobile CEO Robert Dotson

Dear CEO Dotson,

I am a former Danger employee, in fact I'm the person who came up with the idea of the swivel hinge on the original Sidekick, and was an electrical designer on the first 5 generations of Sidekicks.

I left Danger when the hardware design went to Sharp, long before they were acquired by Microsoft, and in any case, this note is only tangentially related to the recent data outages.

I have an urgent request.

I would like to be able to do a 'one click' export backup of my Sidekick contacts.

While I did not lose my contact data during the recent outages, I realized that I was one accidental drop of my device, or one system crash (I'd had one the week before the outage) from losing my contact data.

Needless to say, as soon as I had network connectivity I emailed myself all of my contacts, one at a time, as forced by the user interface, (Via design decisions by T-Mobile, I know, I. was. there.) but this hardly seems like a good user experience. When the Desktop interface came back online, again I found that backing up MY personal data was going to be a slow, painful manual process.

There may have been a time when it was a viable customer retention policy to make exporting our contacts a long and difficult process, but the recent Sidekick data center outages, and the availability of this exact backup feature on Android phones makes this policy both obsolete and detrimental to the customer/carrier relationship.

I'm not asking for much, just an "export contacts" button on the web interface. That's a different group of engineers at Microsoft from the server group, so adding this feature should not interfere with their work. This does not require a new application on the device, nor does it use any air-time.

I am also saddened and disappointed to read that Microsoft has laid off the hardware development team from Danger, and that no new Sidekicks will be made available. If true, the 'one click' export of contacts becomes critical to T-Mobile as the Sidekick users migrate to other phones.

I will disinclined to stay with a carrier who has purposely made it hard to back up my own data, especially in light of the recent failure of that carrier's suppliers to make that data available for an extended period of time.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, "Trust, but backup."

Needless to say, in the past month my trust has been shaken. You can help by undoing the policy of making Sidekick backups painful.

Yours Truly,

Joseph Palmer

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 16:00:14 PDT - Link


Monday Cat Blogging

Miko: Happiness is a warm brother.

Sorry about the delay, we were on a mini-break in San Francisco over the weekend.

Mon, 19 Oct 2009 10:15:53 PDT - Link

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