I’ll try my best to avoid the “what the hell are you thinking?” comments, but come on – jumping ship from Apple to join Palm? The perks must be pretty solid. I’m talking about 39-year old Paul Mercer, a former computer engineer for Apple, who’s been working with Palm for three weeks now on a line of products that will be the company’s response to the iPhone. Am I the only one that thinks that this is a pretty futile attempt for Palm to even consider?
Mr. Mercer, a college dropout, joined Apple in 1987. While there, he was the lead designer of Version 7 of the Macintosh finder, the operating systemâ€™s graphical desktop. He later founded Pixo, a software tools firm that created a development system used by Apple software designers to conceive the first version of the user interface for the iPod music player.
More recently, as an independent designer, he worked under contract with Samsung to design the Z5, an MP3 player that has been a best seller in South Korea. He has developed a reputation for designing interfaces that have cinematographic qualities and yet perform briskly on small consumer electronics devices.
â€œHeâ€™s the best of the best in this space,â€ said Paul Saffo, an adviser to Samsung and a Silicon Valley forecaster. â€œThe guy has a knack for designing complex systems in ways that are accessible.â€
This is like jumping from a first class yacht and onto a raft made from old Kraft Dinner boxes. Good luck, Mr. Mercer.