X-bit labs: Thank you very much, Paul, for agreeing to meet with us today and for the opportunity to ask you some questions. Before we start, I think it would be great if you could introduce yourself to our readers and tell us a little bit about your background. How did this whole thing with the PDP Systems get started? I am sure that the details might be quite exciting.
Paul Jones: Well, that might be a long a boring story for your readers :) But, I will try to make it interesting. First of all, my name is Paul Jones. I am one of the founders of PDP Systems. PDP Systems started in 1985 and we are one of the oldest memory companies in the world. The PDP’s name is derived from myself – Paul, my partner – Doug and my third partner – Phil, who is the wise one. He left the company in 1986. We have been focused on memory for a little over 20 years now.
X-bit labs: There is always a lot of confusion about the two names: PDP Systems and Patriot Memory. What is the difference and the relation between these two names? Could you please explain?
Paul Jones: When PDP started, we were focused mainly on memory distribution and manufacturing. In the 1990s, when the memory modules were invented, PDP was a contractor for many of the memory module manufacturers located around the world. When the memory market had its difficulties in 2001, when the memory market lost 40% of the revenues from 2000 to 2001, many of the bigger manufacturers split their business. They started focusing on video or they took their manufacturing facilities over to the Far East. At that time, PDP had to make the decision on where it wanted to go with its business. Now, we still had a lot of the contract business with many of the U.S. module manufacturers. At that time, PDP brand was a conflict of interest for some of our customers. On the other hand, our customers were selling products into a channel we thought was fairly attractive. We were selling our product, engineering and manufacturing into that channel without the name “PDP” attached to it. It had our customer’s name attached to it. We wanted to keep the conflict away from our customers, so we came up with the name Patriot. PDP would still be the manufacturer for many of the customers we were building for, but Patriot was the branded product. The product was exactly the same. There was no difference. Patriot was the brand name we chose. We are not hiding the fact that PDP and Patriot are two different companies. They are the same company. Patriot is the branded part of the corporation.
X-bit labs: If I understand correctly, you may be selling exactly the same products to some customers under the PDP brand name and to other customers under the Patriot brand name?
Paul Jones: Yes, this is actually very true. Some customers that we are still building for obviously have their own brand name attached to their product. We don’t put Patriot on there, or quite honestly do we put PDP. They take our product after it comes off production and they put their packaging, or possibly we do the packaging for them, and resell the product. I think to me it is similar to something like Foxconn and Dell. If you are in the computer industry, I think a lot of people know Foxconn. If you are a consumer and you buy products, really, everyone knows Dell, but maybe the consumer doesn’t know Foxconn. But, Foxconn is a large contractor for Dell. I think that Foxconn is making an attempt to brand their company; therefore, they are branding their name “Foxconn” much heavier than the channel that they did in the past years. Now, Patriot and PDP are much smaller companies than Foxconn and Dell. It is the same analogy where Patriot is branding itself but PDP is still partnering with some of the module manufacturers in the industry.