Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It's the first time that's happened.

Today I was trying to find interesting stuff to write about at a trade show. But I really wasn't finding much until I hit on some privacy glass. You know - the glass they send an electrical signal through and it changes from clear to frosted or even some of it will darken like glasses do. I wrote about it in The world of Next Tuesday. The pictures are in the middle of the post.

It was something I was really interested in, because that stuff is really expensive to make. I've been watching it for years. Hoping for a tipping point to bring the price down.

He was half way through his talk and other people walked up. I am not a paying customer, and I never want to take them away from actual possible sales so I told him I would wait. But he really never seemed like he was coming back, so I went to walk the floor. I was interested enough that after a while I went back when the booth was empty.

When he finally came up to me I said - ya know, if you want people to write about your product you have to talk to them about it. Which probably did come as sharp. I mean, normally if you even look at a person at a booth - they are on you. I'm not exaggerating when I say that I spend a lot of time avoiding eye contact, because that is the start button. You might not even be that interested in the item, but if you make polite eye contact, you are going to have to have a conversation with them. It's just the way things are.

This guy though responds "I have a PR department".

Simultaneously I knew this was going downhill, and the whole thing just made me laugh internally and externally. For every guy like that who makes it in Silicon Valley hundreds of others get crushed. Maybe he makes it - odds are against him. I wasn't offended, it just made me laugh. The more people you can get to talk about your product the better off you are. Even if they are a nobody like me.

I say - you not want to show me the product?

He asks me what I want to know. Of course the first question I ask him is price, because I know roughly what this stuff used to cost about 7 years ago. He doesn't want to talk about that at all. Which basically told me the price had not come down. Maybe it's gone up, because other companies I've talked to about it were right up front. It's pricey, but here is the price.

Then I ask him about the glass because his was the kind that darkens like prescription glasses. But I couldn't see it actually darkening. I was trying to figure out if it just slowly darkened or if you could flip a switch like I've seen with some of the glass. He said it darken slowly. And in the small talk I said - well some consumers might be able to just flip a switch.

But, my last comment didn't help. He replied, well - I know my market. Which I'm guessing is douche politicians. This is the kind of green energy, price is no option kind of product. At this point I laughed and wished him luck.

I only write about it because it was the complete opposite of every other conference I've been to in my life. By nature of you being at this conference means you don't have a market yet. That was the funny thing. All I know is - I've seen a few companies with way less bravado not make it. But, maybe he proves me wrong.

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