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    Interview with WhartonBrooks CEO Greg Murphy - The raw Q and A
    http://www.windowscentral.com/whartonbrooks-part-ii-interview-ceo-greg-murphy

    Who is Greg Murphy

    Who is Greg Murphy?

    This is the raw Q and A with Greg Murphy, Windows phone fan turned Microsoft Windows phone manufacturing partner. Please be sure to follow the WhartonBrooks series at Windows Central as this story of a Windows phone OEM founded by a Windows phone fan for Windows phone users unfolds. The following Q & A will reveal more about Greg Murphy, WhartonBrooks and this fans plans for Cerulean Windows phones.

    Jason Ward: Who is Greg Murphy?



    Murphy: Well. I guess I would say I'm a Husband first, then a Father, and I'll add that I am the world's biggest Windows Phone fan.


    Ward: Where are you from?


    Murphy: Born and raised in CT, but I spent lots of time growing up in Alabama.


    Ward: What school did you go to and what did you study?


    Murphy: UConn Undergrad in Economics with a focus in Health Policy. Masters in Public Health, also from UConn. I have spent that last 20 years working with Microsoft enterprise technologies in various leadership positions. I have also led programming and software development teams at health care institutions in CT. I decided to use my skills to develop something new for my own venture instead of someone else's. {.pull .right .big}


    Ward: How long have you been a Windows phone fan?


    Murphy: Always. HTC Surround on launch day… Samsung Epix (loved it) and LG Incite before that (loved that too).


    Ward: Have you tried other platforms and how long before you switched back to Windows phone


    Murphy: Had a Samsung Galaxy S 1 - My Epix broke and I needed a phone. I sold it when the HTC Surround was launched. I had the Galaxy S for 3 months. (Hated Android). Apple products are not intuitive to me and they provide no excitement for me – I have never owned an apple product.

    The journey begins

    The journey begins

    Ward: What made you want to build a Windows phone?


    Murphy: I am a Windows Phone user and wanted the platform to reach higher levels. So, I thought no one would care like I would. No one would be driven like me. To everyone else it is their job to make a phone – for us it is a passion.


    Ward: How big is WhartonBrooks?


    Murphy: We are 6 people with very diverse backgrounds. We rely on a network of support that includes manufactures, software developers, suppliers, and others. We could not do this alone.


    Ward: How did you arrive at that name for the company?


    Murphy: When we were planning to be a software development company, we needed a name that would be perceived as prestigious and trusted. After batting around thousands of names over many months, one day I noticed a sign on I91 – Welcome to Wharton Brook State Park. So there it was - our name WhartonBrooks.We needed a name that would be perceived as prestigious and trusted.

    Ward: How did you choose the name cerulean for you line of Mobile phones.



    Murphy: We needed a name that would look to the future and be completely unique. It needed to allow for pairing with accessory names. The name needed to be open in the trademarks space with a domain that could be acquired. We looked at many names – Enspyr, Prism, Crimson – Crimson was a hit, but it was heavily trademarked. We liked the idea of a color, so we went to a Wikipedia page of colors and came upon Cerulean. It was love at first sight/mention – for me at least. It checked all the boxes. Our Chief Strategy and Planning Officer married it with the Cerulean Warbler, which I named Homer. No one liked the name, but as the CEO I get to name the bird.


    Ward: Your journey began when Windows Phone had 3% market share, with such a low share, why were you confident that Windows Phone was a sound investment? At just 1% share and 2 years later are you still as confident in Windows Mobile as a platform?**


    Murphy: Since the beginning, we wanted a Windows phone that was accessible to all of us. We don't need the whole pie, just a slice. We care about our market share among Windows Phone makers. As long as Microsoft is making the OS, then we will make a smartphone and push the size of the market.

    What do people think?

    What do people think?

    Ward: What do you say to critics who assert that Windows Phone is dead?


    Murphy: They are not using Windows Phones and they don't want to…so they are irrelevant to us. We are making products for people who find Windows Phone a pleasure and want a company dedicated to the platform.


    Ward: What do your family and friends think about your investment in the underdog platform?


    Murphy: They are very excited – they want this to succeed. It is great having people really pushing for us.


    Ward: Does your family or do any of your friends use Windows phone?


    Murphy: Yes! My family does … They all like the seamless UI and features they get when using Windows Phone and a Windows PC.

    Ok, come on, tell us about the phone

    Ok, come on, tell us about the phone!

    Ward: Will you be showing your Windows phone or revealing any more details regarding the device itself at the rescheduled Meet & Greet event?**


    Murphy: We will use the Meet & Greet events to give people a chance to meet us, connect with fellow fans, and to show people who we are. We are an unknown entity and we are a new brand. In order to make an impact, we need people to get to know us and understand where we are coming from. We will be a very active participant in the platform. We will overwhelm the competition with our presence.


    Ward: Your press release references the duo, professional and personal, user. Will the phone be targeted directly at the enterprise with the "consumer in them" as a secondary target? Or will the phone be directly targeted to both businesses and consumers?
    We are consumer centric with an opportunity for businesses.

    Murphy: We are consumer centric with an opportunity for businesses. Cerulean Mobile is the consumer centric business while WhartonBrooks is for business. For consumers, we need people to enjoy our smartphones and become fans of our company. We have competencies in project management, performance improvement, and software development – these are important to businesses.


    Ward: Your press release reference's disruptive technologies and both your email and press release mention other products. Are these products peripherals to the phone? A wireless display is mentioned. Are there other Continuum powered peripherals? A dock, monitor, etc.?


    Murphy: We can't reveal too much here, but let's talk philosophy. Our story begins with our first smartphone; there are important aspects we need to bring with our first entry – light, thin, highly portable, and beautiful smartphone. It has to be a smartphone that people want. There are other aspects that we will propose like a kickstand (ie HTC Surround) and wrist strap (ie Lumia 1020) are essential, but we need to test this with our future customers. We have important smartphone centric technologies in the works, but also we believe that the broader opportunity is how the smartphone can be the one device for all your computing needs. We think it should be untethered. In our press release we stated that we want to enable computing to be more personal, flexible, and secure – that is the smartphone. People on other platforms don't know about Window 10 Mobile and the disruptions that it brings – the break from current thinking to create a new path. We explored some of that path and envisioned a whole new suite of opportunities that no other platform is capable of. It is the future. Others want you to buy a separate computer for every function – we think people are not that rich and to be honest wasteful. A CPU for your phone, tablet, laptop, streaming stick, and desktop, really? That does not seem futuristic, it seems more profit driven to me. We think the screen goes in to ubiquity and the pocket computing device becomes the hub for your digital life. Now that, we think is disruptive.

    People on other platforms don't know about Window 10 Mobile and the disruptions that it brings.

    Ward: Your press release also refers to Windows 10 phones. Are you releasing a portfolio of phones? Perhaps a mid- and high-end (based on tone of disruptive technology I don't envision low-end) phone? Or a phone directed toward business with a particular package of accessories and services and one targeted toward consumers?



    Murphy: We seek to leverage emerging technologies to create high growth opportunities. An $800 phone is not high growth. We want our technologies to be accessible to everyone. Your computing device needs to function well and be beautiful, elegant, and highly portable. In order to achieve our goal of high growth and still be on the leading edge, it will require what is not available from other makers. **We will start small and everything we do will push the edge of accessibility, computing power, and utility. We believe this is possible when driven by excellence – growth is an exhaust of effort and the connection with customers.
    An $800 phone is not high growth.

    Ward: Your press release also references apps and services. Will the device use virtualization akin to the HP Elite x3?**


    Murphy: HP has done an excellent job with its approach to Windows 10 Mobile. For consumers, our approach would [be] different and we think that accessibility is also important. We have additional technologies that we will, over time, put into place for the consumer market.

    What about Microsoft and marketing

    What about Microsoft and marketing?

    Ward: I also noticed that you stated that you worked "with" Microsoft to build this phone. In what ways did Microsoft support the process?


    Murphy: They provide the runway and the connections. It requires a great deal of capital and on our part. We needed to take the first step to use the help of Microsoft to build the relationships and partner connections.
    Microsoft provided the runway and connections.

    Ward: Going forward will Microsoft support WhartonBrooks with marketing?**


    Murphy: They are holding our hand through this. They are our most important partner. We are so grateful for their help and support. We will be much more assertive with our marketing efforts, but they are an important partner
    Ward: Microsoft has been criticized by many fans for not aggressively advertising Windows phone. Apple and Samsung are consistently "in the faces" of "Joe Consumer" with very sensory and emotionally compelling television and print ads. How do you plan to make Cerulean phones "noticeable" through all of the iPhone and Samsung "noise?"

    Murphy: We are looking for people who enjoy Windows. We look to be a presence in the places where they are. We have information to share about us and how to take advantage of our platform to create, have fun, and be an adventurer.

    We are not looking to get people to switch from other platforms.

    We will be assertive with our marketing to show the strength of Windows 10 Mobile and to move Windows users to Cerulean Mobile. We are not looking to get people to switch from other platforms – we lost many investors with that statement. We look to grow our share of Windows phones users. The rest will take care of itself.

    Where will you launch and on what carrie...

    Where will you launch and on what carriers?

    Ward: Are the phone(s) being launched globally or are they US only? Which markets are you targeting?

    Murphy: Day one is the US. The rest of North America is next. Brazil, UK, and Germany are strategically important. Australia and India are high on the list too.

    Ward: Will the phone(s) be launched on all carriers? If not, why did you partner with the carriers you've chosen?

    Murphy: We are looking at our unlocked smartphones to be compatible with as many carriers as possible – it is part of our goal to be accessible to everyone. We are pushing very hard for it. Carrier compatibility is that important to us, perhaps the most important aspect of smartphone business. We must solve this problem.

    What's your daily driver, what scares yo.

    What's your daily driver, what scares you and what do you expect?

    Ward: You began this effort from the perspective of a Windows phone fan. Is the WhartonBrooks team comprised of passionate Windows Phone fans? Do you all use Windows phones in your daily lives?(I personally carry the Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1020)


    Murphy: I have every Lumia… My daily driver is my 950xl (though I prefer the 950) and our prototype. In my bag is my 1020 – I think the 1020 was the most important Windows Phone ever. It is truly our aspiration. Our team uses a broad range of technologies to ensure we research the competition thoroughly. They are Windows Phone fans and want to bring to life the one device for your computing needs.

    My daily driver is my 950xl (though I prefer the 950) and our prototype.

    Ward: Greg, what is the scariest part of this whole endeavor?


    Murphy: I am an introvert so getting the attention is not fun. Talking with individual people and working with the tech is natural for me.

    What are you excited about looking ahead...

    What are you excited about looking ahead?

    Ward: What is the most EXCITING part of this journey?


    Murphy: When I open the box and see the latest iteration of our prototype – pop the SIM in and play. I love it. Putting our marketing plan into place is really exciting. Being a user and a fan of the platform, puts us at an advantage over all other makers. We feel like we know exactly what to do and what people want most from their Windows Phone. We will enjoy bringing new features and enhancements to the platform.


    Ward: As you anticipate the next phases of this process, looking down the road – launching the product, getting the product on shelves, seeing product reviews, seeing people carrying YOUR phone in the streets, reorders to replenish supply, and more, what are you most excited about that may lie ahead?


    Murphy: I want to listen to what people want from our future smartphones. I want them to have a hand in building it. I also want to build our team to help people take full advantage of our platform. Post-sales are the most important aspect of our sales strategy. The supply chain is the most difficult part of this process – what size of the market will we serve. The whole market is 10s of millions, but it is unknown what our initial sales will be. Starting will be a bit of trial and error, but we have good relationships in place to help us through this period.

    Ward: I was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Uconn with a degree in Business in 1996. We share some things in common. As a Windows phone fan I'm proud that a Windows phone OEM, led by a fellow Husky is based here in my home state. Congratulations Greg and you have my support!


    Murphy: Thanks! I'm in love with our first smartphone, but we want to grow from here and we need Windows Phone fans everywhere to join in and make this a story for all time.

    Be sure to follow this entire WhartonBrooks series! https://doc.co/YuPLHL

    by Jason L Ward at JLTechWord

    Image Card: Twitter Banner - 5.png

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    Last edited by Jason Ward; 10-07-2016 at 06:47 AM.
    10-04-2016 11:22 AM
  2. Leonel Funes's Avatar
    Jason Ward: Who is Greg Murphy?

    Murphy: Well. I guess I would say I'm a Husband first, then a Father, and I'll add that I am the world's biggest Windows Phone fan.
    Wrong. I'm the world's biggest Windows phone fan... I just don't have the means to produce hardware for myself and others :P
    10-04-2016 02:01 PM
  3. Leonel Funes's Avatar
    On a serious note, I do hope for the best for WhartonBrooks and whatever device they bring out. As long as Microsoft is dedicated to the Mobile part of the UWP (they should, it is 'Universal' after all), I'm pretty sure we'll see more devices for a long time to come
    10-04-2016 02:06 PM
  4. sinime's Avatar
    I hope that can make a go at it! Sounds like they are possibly going to target mid to low end device users, which is where there is a glaring absence at the moment.
    10-04-2016 02:44 PM
  5. nate0's Avatar
    I like this. I'm glad to see someone in the entrepreneurial world taking a stab at this. I'm going to try to hold out for their first phone. Unfortunately there's no date set for it, and I'm stuck using an old iPhone 6 at the moment. Be nice if they had a time line to look at so we're not stuck wondering and waiting.
    RumoredNow and Chintan Gohel like this.
    10-04-2016 07:03 PM
  6. fatclue_98's Avatar
    Be nice if they had a time line to look at so we're not stuck wondering and waiting.
    Ah Grasshopper, waiting is the Mantra all Windows Mobile fans chant.
    10-04-2016 08:30 PM
  7. nate0's Avatar
    Haha....I'm slowly getting use to watching the grass grow...
    Leonel Funes likes this.
    10-04-2016 08:40 PM
  8. DustinRyan's Avatar
    Very interesting to read more about the CEO. Also, go Huskies!

    But I am dying to know if they will reschedule that Microsoft Store event. Give us something to whet our appetite, Greg!
    RumoredNow and Chintan Gohel like this.
    10-04-2016 10:03 PM
  9. RumoredNow's Avatar
    I reached out to Greg Murphy a fellow University of Connecticut graduate (Go Huskies!) to see if he'd be willing to answer a few questions. He graciously complied.
    Thanks for bringing the transcript here.

    The whole series thus far is fascinating. I like seeing some of what it takes (besides drive and money) to create a startup OEM. I'm living vicariously here. LOL
    10-04-2016 10:59 PM
  10. Eddie Mendoza's Avatar
    I read the article and got excited - like others have said, living vicariously through them ! I wish them the best and look forward to see what device they bring to the table. The fact that they mentioned little things that were exciting at the time (the 1020 hand strap) got me even more excited -
    Chintan Gohel and RumoredNow like this.
    10-05-2016 07:14 AM
  11. TLRtheory's Avatar
    Very interesting read!

    If they define thin and light any better than Microsoft/Lumia has this past 10-ish years, then I might have found a non-Lumia Windows Phone I'm interested in! I look forward to hearing more about this.
    RumoredNow likes this.
    10-05-2016 07:39 PM
  12. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Very interesting read!

    If they define thin and light any better than Microsoft/Lumia has this past 10-ish years, then I might have found a non-Lumia Windows Phone I'm interested in! I look forward to hearing more about this.
    If my obsessive research is correct...

    How does 160 x 82.3 x 7.9 mm (6.3 x 3.24 x 0.31 in) and 176 g (6.21 oz) sound?

    Smaller, thinner and lighter than a 1520 and still boasting a 6" display?
    10-05-2016 11:10 PM
  13. DustinRyan's Avatar
    Very interesting read!

    If they define thin and light any better than Microsoft/Lumia has this past 10-ish years, then I might have found a non-Lumia Windows Phone I'm interested in! I look forward to hearing more about this.
    I wouldn't mind light and thin, but keep in mind battery adds a lot of weight, and I love a good battery (because honestly the Lumia Icon on W10 is abysmal and I need some relief). So being light also has its cons.

    And until you've seen how many customers I get daily who dropped their phone because it slipped out of their hands thanks to some tapering on the edges making it harder to grip, you might want to think of the drawbacks as well. One thing I do really like about my Lumia Icon is the flat edges. It may not look as futuristic or pretty, but sure is easy to hold.

    Just something to keep in mind that for every pro, there is likely a con that goes with it. WhartonBrooks now has to figure out what is worth living with, and what is too important to sacrifice. Example: High resolution is awesome. So is a really bright display. But it also comes at the expense of battery life. It's a delicate balance. difficult for any manufacturer. All of that also has to boil down to cost, as well as R&D to build a device to the size and specs they desire. Plus the placement of parts (buttons, speakers, etc.).


    And one last bit about non-Lumia phones. I've always been 100% pro Nokia/Microsoft OEM over any other. But what WhartonBrooks has taught me in the most recent podcast (whether knowingly or not), is that Windows 10 Mobile will survive solely on the success of non-MS phones selling.

    W10 Mobile's future is dependent on other OEMs becoming successful. MS alone cannot do it. We must do our part and help the ecosystem, not just MS.

    Obviously if the phone sucks, ignore what I said. I'm just winging this.
    RumoredNow and Chintan Gohel like this.
    10-05-2016 11:51 PM
  14. Chintan Gohel's Avatar
    I hope that can make a go at it! Sounds like they are possibly going to target mid to low end device users, which is where there is a glaring absence at the moment.
    A couple of years ago people were asking for high end, now the roles have switched
    Ariel Takom, sinime and libra89 like this.
    10-06-2016 03:19 AM
  15. Chintan Gohel's Avatar
    I read the article and got excited - like others have said, living vicariously through them ! I wish them the best and look forward to see what device they bring to the table. The fact that they mentioned little things that were exciting at the time (the 1020 hand strap) got me even more excited -
    That was the one of the unique things about the 1020, the strap - that was incredibly useful
    Ariel Takom and Eddie Mendoza like this.
    10-06-2016 03:20 AM
  16. mjperry51's Avatar
    A couple of years ago people were asking for high end, now the roles have switched
    High end may get mindshare, but midrange volume pays the bills.

    Both have their benefits; if you're looking to create an ongoing business retail provides the momentum.
    10-06-2016 09:09 AM
  17. TLRtheory's Avatar
    If my obsessive research is correct...

    How does 160 x 82.3 x 7.9 mm (6.3 x 3.24 x 0.31 in) and 176 g (6.21 oz) sound?

    Smaller, thinner and lighter than a 1520 and still boasting a 6" display?
    Do we have any pictures of this beast yet? Their website seems to be (probably purposely) vague about the design, though I do like what little I can see so far.
    10-06-2016 09:45 AM
  18. RumoredNow's Avatar
    Do we have any pictures of this beast yet? Their website seems to be (probably purposely) vague about the design, though I do like what little I can see so far.
    Nothing yet... It will come clear in its own time.
    libra89 likes this.
    10-06-2016 11:24 AM
  19. Krystianpants's Avatar
    My guess is that MS is going to be a huge driving force with these guys, or at least I'm hoping they have access to their resources. It's a good way for MS to keep out of the consumer market directly and bring a consumer based OEM to the spotlight. This would show other OEMs that it's possible to gain foothold even if you're not Microsoft. All you have to do is put out good hardware at reasonable prices with great availability. In the meantime MS can focus their surface brand for enterprise/business types.
    RumoredNow and libra89 like this.
    10-06-2016 11:40 AM

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