X-bit labs: How do you estimate Patriot’s position in the today’s memory market? What companies do you regard as your primary competitors in this market?
Paul Jones: As I have already said, we have been in business for over 20 years. Our core competency is manufacturing high-quality products at a cost-effective price. That is why we have been able to supply the industry with the particular gaming modules or high-end modules at a competitive price. Our core competency is R&D, supply chain, manufacturing and delivery. Our competition is very broad across different fronts. We have different competitors in retail space, e-tail space and box space. We have different competitors in United States versus the Far East, and Western versus Eastern Europe. In the memory space, there is no one true only competitor out there. There are many competitors in many different spaces. Many of these competitors have been or are our customers. It is a very fine line how we engage with these particular different channels.
X-bit labs: Since some of these companies are your competitors and at the same time your customers, there will certainly emerge certain conflict of interest. For example, you can not release into the market a new product that is better or more powerful than the one you have just shipped to your customer, because they will immediately ask you: hey, why didn’t you ship us a better product? How do you resolve these situations?
Paul Jones: You are absolutely right. We have some customers that we build for. When we announce a new product, the marketing information tends to go to everybody pretty quickly. Patriot makes an announcement that we have the latest DDR2 modules available. Many of our customers that are in that space will ask how come you are not building that for us as well. Quite honestly, my style of business is to open that up to all my partners. There is actually a difference between a customer and a partner. A partner is someone I want to engage with. I will open up our engineering and R&D resources to our partners. A partner is more of a longer-term business that we will have or have had anticipated going forward. We certainly will do that with our partners. I have no problems with that because the industry is very large and we want to support our partners. Even if it is possible to the detriment of Patriot, we still will engage with certain partners. A partner is not necessarily a customer and this difference is important to understand.
X-bit labs: Does Patriot have a lot of partners at this time?
Paul Jones: Well, in life and in business, you tend to have some very close allies, and some who are more acquaintances. We are one of the oldest companies in the business. I would say that we have probably more partners in the industry than most companies out there. Our involvement of the company is very unique. Not many companies have had partnerships with their current competitors. Quite honestly, I can not think of any company that has had the type of partnerships that we have had with competition. Yet, we are still engaging with them. Our style in business I would like to think from top down is very open, we are not trying to trick the consumer, or trick our partner, or trick our customer of what we are and what we intend to be. We are what we are – a very straight-forward company but our strength is again R&D, supply chain, and getting a quality product out to the market. That said, yes, we have many partners and we do have many customers. We certainly want more partners, as everyone wants more closer relationships in life than acquaintances. We are always trying to get more companies interested in partnership with Patriot.