Mercer’s Hire: To Own the Competition You Have to Buy Parts of the Competition

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An interesting story from the other day, likely making the rounds within the Mac and tech circles: Paul Mercer was recently hired by Palm Inc., the ones that make the, yes, Palm devices, to help create something that can compete against the iPhone. Nothing new there. Every phone company is scrambling to beat it. The catch is that Mercer was hired away from Apple, where he was an engineer and helped created the software end of the iPod. Could there be a better way to fight back? Here’s some from the NY Times:

The designer, Paul Mercer, a former Apple computer engineer, began work three weeks ago at Palm on a line of new products, a company spokeswoman said, but she declined to comment further on the project.

Mr. Mercer, 39, joined Palm with two employees from Iventor, the independent design firm that he headed in Palo Alto, Calif., but Palm did not acquire the company, said the spokeswoman, Marlene Somsak. Palm is based in nearby Sunnyvale.