Popular Power CEO Marc Hedlund announced that his company is discontinuing operations. Popular Power sought to build a business around selling distributed computing power.
Much in the same way the SETI@home project functions, Popular Power developed a “Worker” application that installed on Mac OS, Windows and Linux systems. The software downloaded, analyzed and calculated small pieces of data, which were then uploaded back to Popular Power’s server. In this way, the company hoped to attract the interest of biotech firms, financial companies, and other businesses that needed supercomputing power. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like investors cottoned to the idea.
“I’m sorry to report that Popular Power has been unable to raise the capital we would need to remain in business, and as a result, we are shutting our doors,” said Hedlund in a recent e-mail to Popular Power subscribers. “We have had to lay off all our employees and will not be continuing operations.”
Hedlund says that they’ll continue to work on a non-profit project involving influenza vaccine research as long as they can keep the server running — apparently one of the company’s former employees has agreed to host the server. Hedlund noted that Popular Power’s dispatcher server has to be moved to a new location, however, and he advised that current users of the Worker software may notice some communication problems between the Popular Power server and Worker for a couple of days.
A joint comment from Hedlund and fellow co-founder Nelson Minar confirms the news on the
Popular Power Web site.
“True to its name, Popular Power was a wonderful experience because of the people who gave their time, energy, enthusiasm, and financial support to its vision. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our efforts, thank you to the people who downloaded our client and supported our projects, and thank you most of all to the employees who made everything possible,” said Hedlund and Minar.