Interesting update, very interesting comments.
Using Particle cloud in particular is a business risk. It would be good if Particle offered support for BYO Cloud, ie Google or AWS and then Particle could be connected as a pub/sub client for OTA etc. At minimum a way that you can remotely change a device’s cloud to be your own version of spark server, ie https://github.com/Brewskey/spark-server, as that may satisfy due diligence for exposure to strategic/technical/business decisions by Particle. Spark Server was originally maintained and positioned as the “don’t worry, you’re safeguarded” so it’d be good to see active maintenance of that and a way to dynamically switch devices remotely between cloud servers. That would engender some more confidence in the platform horizon.
I do worry just like mesh that chasing cellular is another shiny stone. It’s pretty high risk in a relatively congested overseas marketplace, so no doubt it’ll be go go go to achieve headway. There were solid comments re code stability of the core range of P1/Photons that have massively suffered in the haste to get gen3 going. I’d ask for serious consideration of Long Term Support trains for P1/Photon so the significant issues with code review and bugs don’t continue. It’s not a 3 legged race, the priority for deployed P1 IOT devices is stability.
It really isn’t clear who or what Particle’s customer segment is. There seems to be a disconnect with accurately servicing current customers in terms of logistics, customer support and platform stability. It was originally hobby’ists, then natural progression to folk who commercialise and sell ~1-10k devices P/A, then mystery use case mesh customers, and now another niche segment with folk who are happy to pay mobile network access fees for their device. I’d have thought a solid business could be built doing the basics well with servicing what I presume is a large P1 customer base. It’d be interesting to know the volume and use case characteristics that Particle are prioritising so prospective customers can make an informed decision as to whether it’s a mutual fit.