I like my Livescribe PulsePen… a lot. It is, in fact, one of my most used gadgets and is up there as one of my best purchases of the year, if not the decade. The pen offers tons of “wow that’s really neat” the first (or one hundredth) time you use it, but also has real, practical uses that fit right in with my work style and needs. In additional, the device has constantly been improving (the desktop application is much better now than it was previously) and the system has constantly been adding functionality (such as screen casts).
Now Livescribe has won me over in another way. They have my respect as a company that does things right. Thanks to their straightforward, honest, no-excuses way of handling some recent issues I’m even happier to recommend the device to anyone who does any serious note taking.
Here’s what happened…
Apparently when Livescribe introduced the ability to use 3rd Party apps with the device (a feature currently of limited usefulness but filled with potential), they also introduced a series of performance bugs. While I must admit that I did not encounter any of them, there must have been enough for the company to turn its full attention to them and, earlier today, send out this email..
Dear Pulse smartpen owner,
On November 19th, we launched the Beta (test) version of our Application Store to provide access to free and fee-based smartpen applications for Pulse users. The changes that enabled our Application Store included substantial advancements to our entire platform, including the smartpen, PC and Mac Livescribe Desktop software, and web services.
With this new software, we inadvertently introduced some bugs that compromised our platform’s performance. I’m writing to sincerely apologize for these problems, and to provide an update on the progress we’ve made in addressing them.
While we have solved many of the major performance issues, we are still making improvements. Between now and Christmas, we will continue to deploy additional updates to improve occasional issues related to uploading larger-sized pencasts, downloading purchased applications, transferring audio from smartpens to the desktop, and installing new software.
We expect these enhancements to address most known issues and to substantially improve service.
Through this rollout, the support from our community to assist us in working through these issues has been critical and extremely helpful. Thank you for your guidance and patience. We’re committed to your satisfaction, and to improving our communication as our global community continues to expand.
Please send any requests for assistance to our customer service team, reachable by phone (1-977-727-4239) or email at email@example.com.
Jim Marggraff, CEO
Big deal? Yes, I think so. In an age of companies pointing everywhere but at themselves when things go wrong, or hiding behind lawyers and legal briefs, Livescribe took a page from the Amazon Playbook. Just as Jeff Bezos took full responsibility for the 1984 eBook debacle, Livescribe CEO Jim Marggraff took full responsibility, wrote the email (or at least signed it) himself, and HE WAS HONEST! No excuses, no finger pointing but “I/we are sorry and are fixing it!”)
Bezo’s actions won be back over to Amazon, and Marggraff’s directness only builds on my already positive feelings toward Livescribe.
You can learn all about the Livescribe Pulsepen HERE.