AMD, Roy Taylor, the Nano, and the Press

One thing is for sure in the GPU market, sooner or later some company is going to pull a full-on screw-the-pooch moment and continue to spiral down even after someone realizes the mistake. We have seen is happen in the past, and it just happened this week to AMD. Poor little Nano.


AMD is Thinking Like Roy Taylor

The reason I think AMD is NOT sampling all its usual review sites is because of thinking like Roy Taylor is infecting the company. Roy wants AMD to duck and cover and only sample the journalists that they feel as though they have a sure chance of getting a "good" review with.

I have happened across Roy’s path a few times in my HardOCP career. I had lunch with him one time right after AMD had purchased ATI. Roy was working at NVIDIA then. Roy went on to tell me how the ATI brand would immediately fade in less than 12 months and that AMD/ATI would never again produce a "high end GPU." I disagreed with Roy on both these fronts and he argued his case, and even offered to bet me cash that he was right. I declined as any tech journalist should do. Obviously now, years later, Roy’s assessment of what AMD would do at the time, was so far from right, that it could only be characterized as "100% wrong." Why do I mention this? Roy exercised bad judgment then, and is doing the same now. It is again one of those times when he should have just kept his mouth closed, but he did not. Albeit those gave us a glimpse behind the curtain, so I guess we should be thanking him. He made statements about a subject when there was absolutely nothing to gain by speaking. When Roy Taylor comes up in conversation today, I always tell that story. Sometimes you need to can the ego and shut up. It has happened to me way more than once. Who knows, maybe this is one of those times?

While I have lot of respect for what Roy did with NVIDIA’s The Way It’s Meant To Be Played and how he turned that program into a true asset for NVIDIA, I am not sure what he has done for AMD since he came on board there as Corporate Vice President of Alliances, but rest assured that his public Twitter remarks this week struck a chord with me. It seems that is sort of his roll at AMD; Twitter Jester? He obviously spends a lot of time thinking 140 characters at a time. Some of the stuff he says amazes me. There are others that think that way as well.

"That Roy Taylor guy is a disaster for AMD's PR.

AMD is already in a bad shape financially, the last thing they need is making stupid PR moves."

One thing is for sure in my mind now and that is that AMD let its true feelings show in Roy Taylor’s Twitter stream this week.

Roy Taylor-like thinking is going to help destroy AMD and having a kneejerk reaction to bad press like it has shown with Nano is simply a huge red flag in my opinion. AMD is doing enough things to shoot itself in the foot, but hiding under a veil of denial is simply self-defeating. Hey, we have totally screwed this up, let’s go into protectionist mode and try to pull one over on our customers! Not a good idea.

I have to wonder somewhat if this really even matters. Hell, you can’t even buy a Fury X card right now. Or at least have one shipped in the next week or two. While AMD PR and Roy Taylor seem to be the AMD problems on everyones’ lips this week, I have to wonder if this is not just Red Herring to keep our attention away from the real problem...building GPUs and video cards. Na, AMD is not that smart and even if it did come up with the idea, it would never be able to execute it. We consider ourselves lucky if they are even able to get us the call-in phone numbers for PR calls on time.

Paper launches are going to bring forth paper opinions. Some of HardOCP’s opinions on Nano have simply not been positive. But if the hardware is so awesome why don’t you let it stand on its own? We will buy a Nano for review, when/if that card ever actually comes to market in any quantity.