pidd
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:42 am

hippy wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 10:51 am
pidd wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 6:19 pm
hippy wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 5:38 pm
Sir Clive had some brilliant ideas, some great products, but the C5 wasn't one of them. That it even got to be launched given what everyone could see from a mile off is quite amazing. Seen universally as such a bad idea coming from 'Mr Mensa' it is not surprising his reputation took such a hit.
History proved it wasn't a concept nor a design failure, it was a marketing failure. Not only were more sold after Sinclair went bust than Sinclair had achieved, but they were also sold at a higher price than Sinclair sold them at.
I don't believe they would have sold any more of them if marketing had been any different, that the deficiencies in design and concept could have been overcome. Thus I can't see it as merely a marketing failure.
A guy up here bought the remaining 7000 surplus stock and sold them above the price that Sinclair previously sold them at. Sinclair had targeted the wrong market, not helped by some self-inflicted bad press.
wikipedia wrote: Ellar's director Maurice Levensohn took exactly this tack when he purchased Sinclair Vehicles' remaining stock, saying that his company would market them as "a sophisticated toy": "If you were a little boy, wouldn't you want your parents to get you one this Christmas?"[78] His strategy was successful; Ellar sold nearly 7,000 C5s at up to £700 each, far more (and at a higher price) than Sinclair had ever managed

AndyO
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Tue Sep 21, 2021 11:56 am

Honestly, it's almost always about marketing - otherwise bicycles wouldn't sell for many of the same reasons.

Personally, I can't see why anyone would have bought a C5, and I certainly can't understand what was in Sinclair's mind in thinking anyone would. But the reason it failed was that it was well ahead of where the technology of the day really was - batteries in particular - which meant that it was simply inadequate for the task of road-going personal transport.

The C5 however has to be measured against that moment in history, where an electric-powered vehicle for low-cost personal transport was a pie-in-the-sky idea. Sinclair was right, I believe, in thinking there was a market for such a thing if he could build it, particularly if he could make it cheap enough. It seems to me that his his determination to bring such a vehicle to market and be the first to do so, rather overcame the quality of his judgement regarding the product itself.

In the end though, it's so easy to stand on the sidelines and criticize with the benefit of hindsight. To try, and fail, is no shame.

Heater
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:42 pm

I compare the C5 to scooters you can get now a days. Like this one: https://skandelectric.com/en/product/sc ... aa03aaca95

That comes in a low power version, 20km/h limited. No licence required, ride on any cycle path, gets up hills fine, even has studded winter tyres available. Or a higher power version, 45km/h, longer range, classed a moped, no problem using on city streets.

Brilliant, electric bike with no stupid peddles.

Or if you feel the need for three wheels and a roof: https://skandelectric.com/en/electric-v ... aa03aaca95

So I see the C5 as a concept way ahead of it's time. Limited by the available motor and battery technology at the time. Ham strung by the regulations at the time. Not to mention British cities had no bike lanes or paths back then. Perhaps interesting and fun but useless.

Me, I'd love to get old of a modern day C5. Like the Aptera: https://www.aptera.us/
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

pidd
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Tue Sep 21, 2021 5:34 pm

Heater wrote:
Tue Sep 21, 2021 3:42 pm
I compare the C5 to scooters you can get now a days. Like this one: https://skandelectric.com/en/product/sc ... aa03aaca95

That comes in a low power version, 20km/h limited. No licence required, ride on any cycle path, gets up hills fine, even has studded winter tyres available.
Currently illegal on cycle paths in the UK. However there is a Government trial underway and the trial e-scooters are permitted.

To quote our local Police, there is no public land, roads or paths where e-scooters are permitted, they are only allowed to be used on private land with the owners consent.

Heater
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Tue Sep 21, 2021 6:04 pm

That is so far behind the times.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

hippy
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:00 pm

wikipedia wrote:Maurice Levensohn took exactly this tack when he purchased Sinclair Vehicles' remaining stock, saying that his company would market them as "a sophisticated toy"
But Sinclair did not design a mere "toy", never intended it to be a "toy". Missing the market aimed at is not a marketing failure.

"He designed the perfect toy which he tried to sell to adults as a perfectly viable means of transport" I feel is even more damning.

Heater
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:36 am

hippy wrote:
Thu Sep 23, 2021 7:00 pm
wikipedia wrote:Maurice Levensohn took exactly this tack when he purchased Sinclair Vehicles' remaining stock, saying that his company would market them as "a sophisticated toy"
But Sinclair did not design a mere "toy", never intended it to be a "toy". Missing the market aimed at is not a marketing failure.

"He designed the perfect toy which he tried to sell to adults as a perfectly viable means of transport" I feel is even more damning.
A market is a place where buyers and sellers come together to do trade. As such Sinclair could not miss the market, there was no market for such an electric vehicle at the time. He was intending to create a new market.

Maybe "toy" is too strong a word but clearly adults judged the C5 was not a viable means of transport.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

lost
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:20 pm

DougieLawson wrote:
Fri Sep 17, 2021 10:37 am
I don't think I'd have spent 40 years working on mainframe systems without the kickstart from building a ZX80 kit with my twin brother. He worked for Alan Sugar for 25 years and on one (significant day) had the pleasure of meeting Sir Clive Sinclair in Amstrad Towers in Brentford.
A great person. Did not own a ZX81, my parents did not see any interest in such a gift & when they finally accepted a Matra rebranded Tandy MC10 was sold in France: These early home computing times were fast paced. Later owned a CPC6128: Amstrad really took the market at the time (& killed some diversity in this emerging market, as usual when a winner emerge): Your brother insights was a nice read.

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scruss
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Fri Sep 24, 2021 5:37 pm

lost wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:20 pm
... a Matra rebranded Tandy MC10
Some of those Matra machines were really pretty, though. The Alice in particular.
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ame
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:18 pm

scruss wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 5:37 pm
lost wrote:
Fri Sep 24, 2021 4:20 pm
... a Matra rebranded Tandy MC10
Some of those Matra machines were really pretty, though. The Alice in particular.
Alice?
Hmm. What can I put here?

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mahjongg
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Re: R.I.P Sir Clive

Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:02 pm

Yes, the Matra Alice was very popular in France, not well known outside France.
Another popular microcomputer in France was the Amstrad because it came with its own monitor bypassing the problem that most micro's could not generate a SECAM video signal.

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