Zii Plaszma: A case study in WTF


Creative makes MP3 players. They do a good job. I like Creative. Good people over there. A good company.

But I got this email today describing Creative’s plans with the new Zii handheld and I was immediately struck by a question: What the hell is this Plaszma Zii StemCell garbage?

To recap, the Zii is a new Android handheld. It is basically an iPod Touch running Android. Fair enough. We all like iPod Touches. But Creative is selling this is as a computing platform. They’re calling the actually device the Zii EGG and they’re calling the platform a StemCell Computer.

Now people aren’t comfortable with stem cells in general – most of them are made from bits of humans and animals – and a whole group of people are against stem cells for religious reasons. So there’s Creative’s first problem. Naming your new SDK after something that many believe comes from dead babies is probably a bad thing.

Then you have the Plaszma SDK. Interestingly, in Poland “sz” sounds like “shhh” so this would be the Plashhh-ma SDK over in Warsaw, which is funny enough. But plasma? More blood? Really? And dual consonants? I don’t think Americans like to see S and Z together. It’s seems too socialist.

To be fair, Creative sent this advertisement to developers, asking them to embrace and extend the platform. The EGG is just a low-cost demo unit, in fact, and they want developers to drink their Plaszma Kool-Aid and suck down some StemCells in the quest to produce amazing apps.

Everyone and their dog is trying to make an app store and platform. Most will fail. At least Creative is still good at making MP3 players.