Underdressed at CES 2013
1/19/13 update: Welcome Hacker News! (Didn't expect to hit the front page) Quick plug: we're hiring embedded firmware engineers. There will be a mystery gift as a reward if you give up your friend. Can you guess what it is? ;)
Being the small 6-person startup company that we are, we had many worries before CES 2013, where technology companies go to show off their latest & greatest. It's like a popularity contest and, as a small company with even smaller budget for trade-show booths, we were severely under-dressed. Thoughts that crossed our minds:
- What if our booth is too small? (It was 10x10 feet, the smallest you can get)
- What if our booth's location wasn't good? (We were surrounded by a lot of knock-off products from an Asian country)
- What if nobody came because our booth was not fully decked out with expensive attention-grabbing decorations? (We had 1 banner, 2 chairs, 1 table)
We didn't even have free pens, keychains, etc. with our logo on it to give out. Our booth at CES would have won the most "underdressed" booth award, if there was one.
We crossed our fingers and hoped that we could compensate for the lack of an over-the-top booth with the one product we've spent many nights sweating over: the Double.
Leo Laporte pre-orders it, live on his show!
"I gotta get one. Because then I can be here even when I'm not"
(Click on YouTube video to play)
Thanks to Chris Sellers for mentioning us to the TWiT.tv show!
Thanks Leo! We'd love to be on your show some time :) firstname.lastname@example.org
I tried 'favoriting' Tweets that were linking to us on Twitter, but after scrolling through what seemed like hundreds of them (at least!), I had to stop because it was taking too much time.
Also, a quick shout-out to our excited early investor James Mai (@jimmai on Twitter in the screenshot to the left).
We had several people pester me at our booth to sell them the demo units right there and then. I said I absolutely need my robots until the very last day of the show, and they actually came back to offer even more money. We're thankful and flattered. (No, I didn't sell - the only right price is the one on our web site - in case you were wondering)
On a personal note, it was flattering to have people actually line up to talk to me (all without having to coerce anybody, imagine that!) The Double actually made me popular. If I could only turn back time to re-live the college years, but I digress.
We met many people who could help us with our journey: world-wide resellers, distribution, shipping, etc. Among some of the visitors to our booth were a few who had already pre-ordered from us; they were very excited to see the Double in person.
As a startup, we focused on the right thing.
To sum up, visitors gravitated to our booth despite the lack of booth babes and freebies because of the Double's design and simplicity. The $1,999 pre-order price helped too. There is hope yet for ok-looking men at prom (sorry David, at least we're not ugly).
Now that we have 900+ pre-orders from 45 different countries, it is actually difficult for me to keep up with requests that begin with "Let me know when you can do <insert something you want here> for us". While I have my personal mobile phone number on our main web site (California time, please) and you know my email (email@example.com), please sign up for our mailing list if you'd like to get updates from us.
The secret* insider's mailing list
http://eepurl.com/j2wFv (no spam - I promise)
On behalf of the team, I'd like to thank you all for your kindness & support. Let's make the world a smaller place.
Team Double Robotics is Marc DeVidts, David Cann, Alex Espinosa, Paul Ventimiglia, Farhad Noorzay and Jay Liew. We're hiring embedded and web engineers.
* This blog post is so long, most readers probably hit the back button after the 2nd paragraph - that's why the mailing list is still a secret, only for insiders.