We’re hearing from multiple sources that Cyanogen Inc. is in the midst of laying off a significant portion of its workforce around the world today. The layoffs most heavily impact the open source arm of the Android ROM-gone-startup, which may be eliminated entirely (not CyanogenMod itself, just the people at Cyanogen Inc. who work on the open source side).
We have been told by several sources [ed. note: confirmed by Re/code] that the company plans to undergo some sort of major strategic shift, with one claiming that this involves a “pivot” to “apps.”
Quoting myself, early this year: “Don’t buy into Cyanogen. Just don’t.”
Cyanogen, Inc. has been misleading, grandiose, megalomaniac. I wish the people who got laid off all the best in the troubling weeks and months ahead, but I shed no tear for the megalomaniac, misleading, and arrogant way this company conducted its business.
I used a lot CyanogenMod back in my Galaxy Nexus days, but when they incorporated I thought Steve Kondik had completely lost perspective and was seduced by the flushing money venture capitalist offered to his team. I have nothing against selling software (I do it for a living), but you have to be clear from the beginning: if your plans are to become a commercial entity, you have to be clear how you are going to make money. If you start developing software as a sort of “rebellion” against the big companies and do it for free just for fun, you users will feel betrayed if then you change you idea and decide you want to make money from your “hobby”.
Moreover, they based their work on somebody else software (AOSP) and their plus was actually supporting newer versions of Android on handsets that were abandoned by their own manufacturers. The apps they developed for CyanogenMod were not exactly a must have (encrypted messaging ? their buggy music player ?? ) and when the ROM itself got too fat, I moved to something lighter. Most of the tweaks and customisation Cyanogen offered during the android 4.x days were then supported natively in android 5.0, and by the time I changed my phone to a Nexus 5 I stopped modding altogether.
I’m sorry for their employeee which are being let go in a harsh and coward way, but I did not believe for a single moment they might actually succeed in their ambitious master plan. Very little company shipped handset with Cyanogen ROM and the brand itself was actually “burnt” among users who might be interested. I hardly believe Cyanogen has ever been the selling factor for any phone offering it, not considering the fact that manufacturers supporting Cyanogen are not top players who can guarantee a decent numbers of sold handsets.
Edited 2016-07-23 09:39 UTC