BRS Layoffs and New Strategic Direction

Author: Carlton Purvis, Published on Jul 18, 2013

BRS Labs' new press release trumpets bringing their 'technology to new markets.' Inside the release, they note that they are embarking on "a new strategic direction for generating future growth." However, what they did not reveal is the significant layoffs and restructuring that is underlying this move.

While BRS Labs has declined to comment on any particulars, we have confirmed the layoffs with multiple sources close to the company. The most reliable information suggests that 20 something people, including members of its sales teams, were laid off this week. Our sources say that pressure from investors to reduce the burn rate was a key motivating factor.

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Comments (16)

I wish I could hear about companies that have outstanding technologies but remain unheard off, rather than hear continuously about companies that never proved themselves besides making marketing noise.

BRS now appears to be a solution in search of a problem.

Andre, we cover a mixture of emerging companies, new products and 'marketing noise' companies. The unfortunate reality is companies like BRS Labs, because of their big marketing expenditures, have disproportionate impact on potential projects. By running these updates, especially on the undisclosed problems, we help users/specificers/partners make more informed decisions.

I think its very valuable to know about every company. Especially those that have red flags or warning signs. I actually wish IPVM covered this more. Its seems there is a lot of information that doesn't make it past the marketing and PR engine of some unproven companies. Keeping everyone informed (businesses or investors) could save tens of millions.

I do agree with all of you. The amount of attention is just surreal.

Sometime I just want to ask: Is it like a Ponzi scheme were you focus 100% on marketing in order to find new investors?

Good luck getting into the sonar business. Most of the data available for training/testing is locked up by the Navy. And the group of companies doing sonar work is pretty exclusive so it will be very difficult to make any headway. And if they do decide to gather their own data, it's going to be a very expensive proposition.

If a 'solution' is not cost-feasible in one vertical (surveillance camera monitoring analytics), why should this factor not apply to the 'new and amazing opportunities' that these new vertical markets are supposed to offer to their investors?

What does it cost to monitor all that other new and exciting stuff like radar, sonar, radiation, etc)?

New BRS Story about 'new' direction published in their local biz journal yesterday.

"BRS President John Frazzini said he expects the company to experience “explosive” growth when it releases its latest technology products."

"...but by 2014 it also expects to have revenues upwards of 20 times its current amount."

: |

...like Déjà vu all over again!

I just added a link to that in the main article. You have to give them credit to sticking to their story, regardless of how many times it has been previously wrong!

This may be the best line ever in the history of all lines:

"Frazzini said. “And at this point in time, we have perfected the technology insofar (in its current market), and we are announcing the technology’s next version.”"

It's perfect! But we made it more perfect!

When I look at the new target markets,

“SCADA, operations management, facilities management, trade-traffic-and-transaction monitoring, chemical-biological-radiological-nuclear-explosive threat detection, airspace management, submersible systems, and cyber security.”

I have to wonder what exactly is the core technology that serves all these markets? I can guess but I’d like to hear it from BRS….

Francis, the core similarity is that they can detect abnormalities in patterns - whether it is SONAR, RADAR, Internet traffic.

Believe me, I am not defending it but that's the best case I have heard them make.

Thanks John, understood. Given that base-lining “normal” and detecting departures from this baseline is BRS's core technology, then video surveillance was by no means an easy market to gain early success in. General surveillance strikes me as just too unconstrained with a high frequency of objects and tracks seen for the first time often being totally innocuous. Seems to defy accurate “normalcy” definition. So too do most of the new target markets identified by BRS, with the possible exception of facilities management which I think could be very interesting for them as there is much less signal variation per sensor source.

It's hard to know if there is actually a strategy here or if they are 'just throwing shit against the wall'. It's 5 years now of overpromising and underdelivering so it's hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Here's a good example of what the technology can do if used in the right application. This article talks about a high school girl who developed a software using the same technology BRS uses to detect breast cancer.

BRS should learn from her what to go after.

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