Everyone suspected Lenovo would eventually struggle to keep the Moto Mods platform going strong, and now the company is admitting it needs help.
Lenovo is calling on developers to submit their ideas for new Moto Mods on Indiegogo, a crowdfunding service, to get help in creating a final product. Through January 31, developers can submit their ideas before getting the green light to go live with crowdfunding campaigns. Then, if selected as a finalist, Lenovo will host the winning campaigns at Moto HQ in Chicago for pitches.
Lenovo Capital and Verizon Ventures will work with developers on funding, distribution, and more.
While it’s fantastic for developers to be supported, this whole thing comes across as odd. It’s like Lenovo is completely aware Moto Mods are failing right now:
“We know we can’t come up with every Moto Mods idea on our own, and real innovation doesn’t happen behind closed doors.”
Way to support your research and development team.
What ever happened to the Moto Mods Developer Program? Very little seems to come out of it. There was also a competition set up when the Moto Z launched in order to generate interest in Moto Mod creation. It would’ve rewarded the creator(s) with $1,000,000, but we haven’t heard anything since. Lenovo just seems to be doing empty public relations moves.
Outside of the launch Moto Mods and the HasselBlad True Zoom, the Moto Z family is facing the same problem as the LG G5 did earlier in 2016. Third-party modules aren’t appearing for either device, yet both Lenovo and LG refuse to invest money themselves as fuel for their platforms. Instead, they just lean on outsiders to do the work for them.
A Moto Mods hackathon will be held next month in New York City followed by another in San Francisco in January. Hackathon winners, like these Indiegogo finalists, will be invited to Chicago to make pitches. We’ll just have to wait and see if Lenovo actually brings any ideas to life or keeps using events and promotions as a way to maintain a false portrayal when Moto Mods are struggling mightily.
Update (11/4/17): We’ve been contacted by a Moto spokesperson who says Moto Mods are not failing and the Indiegogo collaboration is not a “form of asking for help.” It is noted that, instead of leaving developers on their own, Lenovo is trying to foster development by direct engagement in the form of campaigns, programs, and hackathons. The Indiegogo collaboration should be seen as “an extension” of the Moto Mods Developer Program.
The spokesperson says flat out that I am incorrect in multiple areas of this post, but it doesn’t seem that I’m too far off. So I’ve requested an official list a current Moto Mods as well as any in the pipeline. We’d like to understand if the public knows of any Moto Mods beyond the launch group and the HasseldBlad True Zoom. We’d like to know if Lenovo is working to bring new Moto Mods to the market and not just saying it’s encouraging developers to do so.
If we’re given strong evidence that new Moto Mods are coming, we will admit to being wrong.