What’s The Big Secret?!
Why We’re Operating in Stealth-Mode
Stealth mode. It’s a tough way to operate. When your Grandma calls to say hi and see what you’ve been up to, it sucks to have to tell her that it’s a secret. Nobody likes disappointing their grandmothers. Here at Eteros, that’s the position we are in now. We’ve been operating in stealth-mode for about 8 months. If you go to our website there is lots of info there, and near weekly updates on the blog. You’ll notice a pattern though: it doesn’t say anywhere what we are actually doing. It’s annoying and frustrating, (for both you and for us), but it’s absolutely necessary. If you’ve been following the blog or our social media you’ve no doubt figured out by now that we are creating a new type of trimming technology. That’s been trickled out here and there with breadcrumbs. But beyond that; nothing. If you’re reading this blog post right now and think you’re about to get the whole story, I’m sorry to disappoint you. But what I can do is explain why we’re doing things this way.
Intellectual property is everything, and having your patents in place is a necessity. If you go public without patenting your technology you risk your entire company. Are you old enough to remember the Pong arcade game? It was made by Atari, and was a massive hit when it was released in 1972. But Atari didn’t file patents before placing their first machine in a bar as a test-run. Within months, other companies had knocked it off, and by 1975 about 70% of the pong machines in the market were actually Pong knockoffs. By waiting until the patents are filed before saying much, we are protecting our business. That even means putting sheets over our prototypes when the cleaning crew comes through, and blacking out the windows so nobody can peek in. You can’t be too careful. Atari learned that lesson the hard way.
The technology we have developed is different from any other trimming solution available. It’s so different that we believe it will be the new standard, and the only real option for any commercial-scale grower. Once your competitors have it, you’d better get it or you’ll be left in the dust. That’s how next-level this thing is. And when we finally lift the curtain to show everyone what’s we’ve been working on, a timer starts. That timer is the amount of time until a competitor can catch up and develop something that equals our technology. We believe that it would take a competitor 2-3 years to create something comparable. But that clock doesn’t start until we reveal our product. If we did that now but didn’t start taking orders for another 6 months we’ve given them a 6 month jump on that innovation timeline. It makes much more business sense to keep our mouths shut and our cards close until we’re almost ready to take orders.
Focus on Engineering
While we’re operating in stealth-mode we can use our entire company’s resources on product design and engineering. We’re not worried about sales and we’re not worried about marketing, (not really, anyways). We’re not focused on anything else other than building the perfect product. Combine that unwavering focus with our commitment to rapid prototyping and an in-house machine shop… you have a team that can go from 0 to product on an almost mythical timeline. That wouldn’t be possible if we weren’t in stealth-mode.
A point of contention with those that have argued with us about releasing more details is that transparency builds hype. The development of our product is a story, and we should put it out there. It builds trust, and allows people to engage throughout the development process. That’s true, and for the right product at the right company I think it’s a valid strategy. But the problem is that transparency also builds deadlines, even if we don’t set them ourselves. Your audience will only stay engaged for a very limited amount of time. Once you start the HYPE TRAIN (trademark pending on that phrase), you can’t stop it. You must constantly feed coal into the locomotive engine for it to keep progressing down the track. If you do that for too long without a big payoff, (releasing the product), then you lose steam and the interest dissipates, making it much harder to rebuild the fire a second time. Better to start the train on a shorter track, where you can fire it up full-steam ahead until you hit the station, (release the product.)
So for now, despite the repeated requests from friends and followers, we choose to remain quiet. It makes sense for our business and our goals. Grandma, don’t get mad, I promise that when I finally tell you about what we’ve been doing, you’ll be proud.