Zwift's New Hardware Division (Nov '19) / "Pauses" & Layoffs (May '22)

Wow! That’s a big one. Especially right after the big fire sale.

I know there are those who will be happy because it means one less push toward the high end, but I feel like this will actually slow competition to improve and innovate.

1 Like

Next decade will be all about holding onto what we have now. Growth came to an end, anyone counting on getting bigger in order to make money will be eliminated.
It is all about natural income at this point.

1 Like
1 Like

Hope employees affected by this will soon find other work.

Besides that, it seems a wise choice to pull the plug. A haphazard focus on high-end, the risk of alienating the partner landscape and the risk of being a distraction for the (much needed) development of the software platform all points in the direction of this being the right decision.

Ack…missed this. Feel free to delete my thread or combine here, Chad.

1 Like

Interesting to juxtapose the comments on Peloton’s operations and growth from 2 years ago to where they’re at today.

1 Like

I guess I am not shocked, but still surprised……I will give Zwift credit for being willing to eat the hardware project. I’m sure the market data showed it was going to be a tough nut to crack given the installed base of competitive product.

1 Like

I went ahead and merged yours here, as well as tweaked the topic title above.

1 Like

I think one of the more interesting tidbits that I’ve only seen mentioned in the ZwiftInsider article is that Jon Mayfield is returning to the top side of app development. That and other comments give me a ray of hope that Z might actually deliver some new features.

That’s exactly the thing Zwifters want to see. In fact, the #1 complaint from dedicated Zwifters is the slow pace of change/improvements/expansion. The Zwift community loves new roads and features, and we simply haven’t gotten many of those lately.

Is Zwift just telling us what we want to hear, or are they making real changes that will result in increased development of the “core Zwift game experience”? Sources within Zwift tell me that part of this restructuring includes co-founder Jon Mayfield moving out of his R&D basement and back into a lead role in Zwift development. That’s big news, and a sign that they’re serious about making some changes.

It could also be argued that “right-sizing” Zwift staff will lead to a more nimble organization overall. But whether that translates to quicker releases of new features or just quicker releases of new bugs may come down to improved QA testing combined with freshly streamlined processes.

That and maybe taking a real run at handling their focus on racing to implement proper category and rider points to bring them inline with other racing type apps elsewhere. They don’t have to reinvent the wheel as there are numerous good suggestions from some smart Z users, not to mention they can easily review rating systems in things like iRacing to name one of the biggest in that arena.

Sure tough on the employees now seeking new homes, but as a Z user since 2016, I have been one of the many frustrated Level 50 riders that sticks around due to familiarity and ease now more than the actual app development. It’s been stalled for years and added little to nothing for long time users. Will be interesting to see where this all stands in about 6 months and beyond.

3 Likes

All of this.

1 Like

Sunk cost that hinders efforts going forward need to be dropped. I’ve had to ax a couple of multi-million dollar integrations because they no longer provided enough tangible and intangible ROI to justify sustained development. It sucks more when you can’t repurpose staff and have to let them go.

2 Likes

Yup…the “sunk cost fallacy” can be a killer. Too many companies see product development as a tunnel and not a funnel.

You gotta be willing to kill a project at almost any point, right up until production is gearing up. If the ROI isn’t there, take the loss and move on.

A lot cheaper to pull the plug on something with high probability of failure pre-launch vs. post launch. Especially with tangible products (hardware) with all the costs of tooling, scaling production, building pre-launch inventory, distribution, building out customer and channel support, impact on partners, etc… Amazing how many times you see companies pull the plug a couple of months after launch, or sometimes right after launch (like the recent CNN+ cancellation) cause someone couldn’t make a tough decision.

1 Like

OT, but that CNN+ death was a result of ownership change, and resulting direction change in the company after that had already been planned and implemented. It was a twist of fate on the timing that made it’s birth and death so close.

Not relevant to the Zwift hardware aspect here as this was in motion for years, and simply a culmination of many factors that showed it to be more prudent to kill for now vs continue.

1 Like

I suppose it’s the skeptic in me but Zwift having their hand forced into “refocusing on software” doesn’t give me any warm and fuzzy feelings that their interests will be in addressing any needs of longtime users or customers in general for anything beyond the next trend to come along catches the eyes of their venture capitalists

4 Likes

Certainly fair to question the direction and eventual outcome. I have no idea, but am a careful optimist generally speaking. Forced or not, if they have mainly the app to focus on I hope that will lead to changes and improvement.

Knowing Z, they sure could choose to head in some other direction entirely, and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if they do that. Time will tell.

I definitely hope it leads to improvement but I can understand why many RGT users are upset with the purchase by Wahoo because of the uncertainty of what the focus will be since there’s a new investor who’s vision be different from the original RGT team.

Zwift is slightly different but not much. The have all this VC money which I doubt comes with a no strings attached approach so customers rightly wonder if their feedback is important to Zwift.

Like you said. Time will tell

1 Like

The CEO should be part of this layoff.

6 Likes