Serotek has released a statement regarding the recent departures of 5 of their staff members, which emphasizes the company is not going anywhere. From the look of the press release and prior information we've received, it appears that Joe Steinkamp and Ricky Enger were given an offer to continue the Serotek Podcast Network with Serotek covering some of the costs. Both declined the new terms however and left the company. The three other departures happened later, and were perhaps not as expected by Serotek management. Other Serotek services, including the System Access Mobile Network, SA2Go, and the System Access Screen Reader remain in development. It also appears that former CEO Mike Calvo plans to take a more active role in the company which he founded over a decade ago. This is a developing story and we'll post more as we learn of it. The complete text of the message is below.
Serotek is undergoing some changes to better meet your needs as a digital consumer. The assistive technology industry has been shifting for a while now, and it would be foolish to believe yesterday’s formula will continue to work in today’s age of wearable technology, smart homes, and interconnected media. Understandably, there may be questions about the longevity of the products and services you have come to rely on. For years Serotek has thought outside the box to deliver the most affordable solutions with the best customer and product support, and there are no plans to reverse this pattern of innovation to meet you where you need us. You may also be wondering about the future of the SeroTalk Podcast Network, arguably one of the leading content providers on all things technology. There is a time to cover headlines, and there is a time to create them. As long as the community remains interested, SPN will evolve alongside its parent company. For now, we have to deal with the reality of blunt, but truthful, comments such as that left by one loyal customer who wondered if we were finally going to stop socializing on the podcasts and finally get back to product development. Given the number of conflicting rumors surrounding the popular platform, the story is this: Ownership of SPN was offered to Joe Steinkamp and Ricky Enger under a highly attractive earn-out formula. Serotek offered to continue financing the website, podcast, and production and platform hosting required to maintain a consistent user experience. Serotek is aware of the value they provided to the community. Unfortunately, they elected not to accept this offer. The Serotek team has no doubt Joe and Ricky will be a valuable asset to the community in other capacities and wish them all the best in their new endeavors. Our goals were not to eliminate people, but rather, to realign the company structure and shift company functions that are hindering growth, steps that were required to keep Serotek from becoming one more casualty of the new landscape. It is unfortunate that three other teammates abruptly opted to follow other directions, but we respect their choices and also wish them the absolute best in whatever they pursue. Change is sometimes a scary prospect. Yet change moved us away from the cell phone to the smart phone, from the TV to the tablet, and from yesterday’s computer to today’s cloud. We’re working hard to keep you in the middle of it, where you belong. Contrary to competing rumors, Serotek is not down for the count. We’re squarely in your corner and ready to meet the next phase with the same fervor we’re well known for. Stay tuned. The best is on its way, and you are going to be a part of it.Source: Go to source
I have been a System Access user going on 6 years. I must say however that this latest transformation with the company has left me feeling a bit disheartened, even concerned whether I will lose my speech program entirely! Did I pay good money for a product only to have it disappear? Thank you.
steve920 Tuesday, 25-Nov-2014 3:34 PM ET:
The post is public relations fluff. If I were a Mobile Network user, I'd store all my stuff on my local machine and not on their cloud; if they did go under and can't afford server space, you won't lose everytghing. And, I'd start thinking about purchasing on a month-to-month basis. The way they word their post doesn't give a strong impression that they will continue to support their traditional products.
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J.J. Meddaugh is an experienced technology writer and computer enthusiast. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University with a major in telecommunications management and a minor in business. When not writing for Blind Bargains, he enjoys travel, playing the keyboard, and meeting new people.