This newsletter will focus on advisor conversations of last week and our pilot’s progression. Also, Jon Bon Jovi visited us for a photo shoot in our workspace. It was pretty cool. We might as well describe that, since famous people visiting for shoots is a semi regular occurrence. Thought to be fair, they don’t visit for ELIA Frames, or because we are delightful people.
As usual, we had our weekly call with the Simplexity team. It’s a pretty fluid conversation at this point. This week, the first half was technical, focused on questions that arose last week with regards to architecture, firmware and electrical systems. Steve Getz and Dan Periard of our team oversaw that portion of the conversation. Now that the paper path is finalized, the Simplexity team was able to further scope out the requirements for the system, and they had additional questions about the user interface, paper jam signaling, and how systems would communicate with the users computer. The second half of the conversation was more consumer market focused. Melanie Handshaw of Simplexity worked with Steve, Byron and me to discuss projected sales volumes (which will effect the engineering-for-manufacturing of the printer). The volume projections will be used by Simplexity for estimating the cost of the next portion of the product development effort.
We are preparing to engage Adam’s network with ELIA Frames. This week’s and last week’s discussions centered around how we scale the pilot program. We found that our earlier conversation with Tom DeRosa was valuable for us to understand a new learner’s perspective. We captured some really great footage of Tom learning, so we are planning another engagement. The approach we will take is to teach people the ELIA Frames Font in such a way as to enable them to teach it to other people. This will be helpful in two ways. First, it is always more engaging to learn something that you will need to teach, and second, people will adhere to best practices if they feel they will need to learn them in order to teach skills to others.
Evan Wray (Swyft Media & TrailMix VC)
We spoke with Evan Wray, formerly of Swyft Media. He is focused on helping companies like ours grow and serve our community. A network contact of ours and mentor from NEW INC, Abby Pucker, introduced us to him. Evan shared his insights on branding and licensing to major corporations, as well as what they find compelling. He recommended that we detail a plan to make ELIA Frames the standard. We’ll be working on that.
This week we spoke with Richard Morgan, a noted venture capitalist and current investor in ELIA Life Technology, PBC. He has been a senior advisor to ELIA Life for nearly a decade. He had some pointed questions:
- Is ELIA Frames now good enough that we will not be making significant revisions to it?
- How can we persuade the world that it will be the next big thing?
- How do we get out of our comfort zone and start telling our story (He suggested that we study the example of Tim Ferriss, and how he promotes his initiatives).
- If it is mindshare we seek, what are the tools we need to get us there?
Jon Bon Jovi
Yes, Jon Bon Jovi visited us. The loft space where we work in Dumbo, Brooklyn is awesome. Glorious light, giant windows and a distressed look that is both gritty and beautiful. It hosts films and photo shoots on a regular basis. ELIA Life works here for free and as such, we are sometimes displaced by shoots. If it is a large shoot, we work at NEW INC.
Last week Jon Bon Jovi’s photographer wanted to shoot at Dumbo Salt Works with a small crew. We worked in one room while he and his team worked on the other two. Our interactions were limited to Mr. Bon Jovi asking us for the wifi name and password. At one point he did play his acoustic guitar for some photos and we had the privilege of listening. It was pretty awesome.
We understand that people like him come here for the same reasons we do, to get work done. We asked his manager to please ask Mr. Bon Jovi if we could share our work with him. At the end of the day, he just wanted to get home, and demurred. We didn’t expect to do so.
It was the same thing when Katie Holmes was in for a shoot (Andrea Li Ph.D., Claire Periard and Dawn Horton Ph.D. were collaborating with us that day and we worked in parallel with Holmes’s team). We asked her manager if we could share our work as well. But she too was ready to call it a day (though she did refer friends to Dumbo Salt Works for new photo shoots). As it is, we have ELIA Frames Font examples throughout the space. And when people visit, we often teach them the font.
We received news back from Workman Publishing that they would like additional information on our company before they allow us to publish the Little Zen Companion. In the interest of transparency, and because this is our first publishing exercise, it is fair to say that this initiative is not yet complete.