Author Topic: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!  (Read 351 times)

elagache

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Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« on: September 19, 2019, 11:30:04 pm »
Dear WeatherCat Davis fans,

Totally by accident I came across this small posting on the Davis blog - Union Park Announces Acquisition Of Davis Instruments:

https://www.davisinstruments.com/blog/union-park-announces-acquisition-of-davis-instruments/

Davis is no longer a private family-owned company but is now owned by: Union Park Capital, a Boston based private equity firm.  The posting is dated July 31, 2019.

Davis has already joined the Advanced Environmental Monitoring family of Union Park.  You can find more information on this group on their website:

https://www.aemonitoring.com/

This news is certainly a shock to me and I suspect will be the same for a good number of WeatherCat users of Davis stations,

Oh well, . . . . . . Edouard  ???

xairbusdriver

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2019, 02:35:12 am »
Only thing I'm sure of is it's good news for the "private family". Too often these deals are less good for the company, employees, products & customers. Let's hope this will be one of the exceptions.

Weatheraardvark

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2019, 04:43:59 am »
Maybe the new owner will take seriously those improvements, features and modifications we have been asking for over the years.
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Blicj11

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2019, 06:55:25 pm »
Looks like a good fit. I liked the parent company's statement that, "value is created through profitably growing a business, not financial engineering."
Blick


Weatheraardvark

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2019, 08:29:32 pm »
Of course I have noticed at least this part of the country, when someone sells out, in the long run of things,  sometimes things tend to go down the toilet. Weather Underground, Weather Matrix, Two local stores,  etc...

I sincerely hope I am very wrong and they come out with a color console retro with the VP2 Plus series.   I'll hold my breath until I turn blue.. If you find me on the floor, ignore it, I am probably sleeping.    [freeze]
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elagache

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Owner getting up in years. (Re: Davis Instruments acquired)
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2019, 11:33:57 pm »
Dear X-Air, Weatheraardvark, Blick, and WeatherCat Davis fans,

Here is a story from 1996 describing how Jim Acquistapace acquired Davis Instruments.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/stories/1996/10/14/smallb1.html

He bought it in 1969 so he was the owner for 50 years.  I'm sure he couldn't manage it anymore and I suppose there wasn't any family members interested in taking the business over.  So the sale was probably unavoidable.

I would like to agree with Blick that this is a positive step.  Certainly, Davis has been rudderless for a while.  I'm sure Jim Acquistapace age was a factor in that.  However, I worry with Weatheraardvark about the intentions of the new owners.  I sure would like to see fresh management that is serious about pursuing the high-end consumer market.  Given the other companies in this group, they may instead stick to Davis's bread and butter: government, businesses, and academia.  That could cause Davis to slip further behind in the customer oriented market.

All we can do is watch and see.

Edouard

Blicj11

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2019, 12:28:56 am »
Good read.

Good comments from both of you. The thing I hope makes this different that the WU debacle is that Davis is known for higher quality weather stations than the $99 garden variety and they have tens of thousands of installs with hobbyists. Take that foundation and come up with some cool innovations (like a colour monitor, electronic anemometer, etc.) and maybe it's off to the races. But if they just fire all the R&D and tech support guys and farm those functions out to some third party, or focus on big business and government customers, we will be seeing the beginning of the end.

Inasmuch as none of us have noticed any changes in service since this happened, I take that as a good sign. However, I must point out, one of the changes they need to make soon is a complete redesign of their website, with customers in mind. I cannot think of a more difficult website to find something on than their current iteration. Even when you know exactly for what you are searching, you can't find it without a healthy dose of sheer luck.
Blick


elagache

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Shoemaker stick to thy last ?? (Re: Davis Instruments acquired)
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2019, 10:45:19 pm »
Dear Blick and WeatherCat faithful,

Good comments from both of you. The thing I hope makes this different that the WU debacle is that Davis is known for higher quality weather stations than the $99 garden variety and they have tens of thousands of installs with hobbyists.  . . . . .

Sadly, I think it is all too simple to understand the Weather Underground meltdown.  I don't know what would have happened had the acquisition by the Weather Channel had been left alone.  It seems reasonably certain to me that the trouble came from the IBM acquisition of the Weather Channel with the apparent intention to use Weather Underground data to demonstrate the prowess of IBM's artificial intelligence systems.  Since IBM is not a world leader in weather forecasting, I think we can safely conclude that their AI platform utter failed to improve weather forecasting.  This is perfectly consistent the critique of Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus of artificial intelligence.  Recently Google was caught lying about their machine intelligence capabilities when actually the actions were performed by humans.  At the risk of once more showing my age, we seem to be suffering from a new generation of computer science types who are repeating the same AI follies that I found myself caught up in the late 1980s and 1990s.

. . . . .
Inasmuch as none of us have noticed any changes in service since this happened, I take that as a good sign. However, I must point out, one of the changes they need to make soon is a complete redesign of their website, with customers in mind. I cannot think of a more difficult website to find something on than their current iteration. Even when you know exactly for what you are searching, you can't find it without a healthy dose of sheer luck.

I'm certainly not going to disagree about the incompetence of the Davis website, but that raises a very personal concern with respect to my station and WeatherCat.  Everybody likes the robustness and accuracy of Davis instruments.  Their consoles are boring but get the job done.  Where Davis has always been weak is software.  WeatherLink even for the PC was the worst of the Windows software to manage a weather station.  On this forum I don't think I need to say anything more about WeatherLink Mac.

Davis is a skilled hardware manufacturer, but they are once more venturing into territory that they lack historical experience: cloud computing.  By my thinking this is even more dangerous that WeatherLink for your computer.  For better or worse, you control your backups of data on your own hardware.  Who is guaranteeing that Davis hosting will be as robust as what you can provide for yourself?  The web interfaces that Davis is coming up with once more is hardly state of the art.  For a generation that doesn't know about software like WeatherCat it may suffice, but they are missing out.

It isn't like I have any editorial authority, but I do hope that Davis will recognize its strengths and not poison its relationships with 3rd party developers like Stu.  Davis stations have a much wider appeal when managed by well-designed 3rd party software, and Davis makes much more money on stations than they ever have on software.  They are betting a great deal on the idea they can get people to pay an annual subscription for the "privilege" of accessing their very own data.  However, I don't think I'm the only person will never enter into that sort of arrangement.  Between the needs of researchers to write dedicated software for their data analysis needs and the hobbyists that wants control over their data, I hope Davis continues to provide an open and well-documented station API so that Stu and others can continue to thrive along side Davis.

Cheers, Edouard 

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Re: Davis Instruments acquired by Union Park Capital!?!?!!!!!
« Reply #8 on: September 23, 2019, 02:57:11 pm »
Well thought out comments, Edouard.
Blick