back to article Marketing... or how I lost my soul to Lagos

Last time you said that a fair chunk of you have used crowdfunding to buy product. Allegedly, building a better mousetrap does not have the world beating a path to your door all by itself, maybe not even putting the design on Thingiverse. As our caped hero is finding out, you need to let your potential customers know that …

  1. Keef

    As has previously been commented...

    What is this Sh1t? Why is it here? What does it mean?

    Well said Wilco.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: As has previously been commented...

      I'm now guessing it's some kind of new viral/digital media/social media/<insert 2016 buzzword here> marketing idea. Remember, in digital landscape terms, even a WTF? reaction is better than no reaction.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As has previously been commented...

      Nah, it's just Hart-Davis again, thinks he's a mover and shaker but in reality trading on the family name.

      See http://opentrv.org.uk/ - it's nothing new or original and the blog's not been updated in well over a year.

      1. maffski

        Re: As has previously been commented...

        It's an electro-mechanical radiator valve - there's no way anyone could get it done in only two and half years relying just on UK and EU public sector funding.

        Although he could just buy it off these guys and put it in a new box.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As has previously been commented...

      What is this Sh1t? Why is it here? What does it mean?

      Easy. One of the ways to get market awareness is getting people to talk about it, and it appears these people think the El Reg crowd is a target market. Hence "giving" articles - stuff that appears to give you insight but tend to veer so close to outright selling that it's painful to watch.

      I spent a couple of years working as a consultant for a big company, and part of the reward structure required writing "thought leadership". The drivel that was developed under that banner was mostly at an awful "we will show you how to breathe in and out" level, yet was published with great fanfare by marketing (well, OK, they didn't know any better, bless).

      This article is only a shade over that. As it appears to be a series, I hope it gets better - fast.

  2. a well wisher

    "Full disclosure: my startup OpenTRV has received funding from EU and UK government sources"

    Is it all that red tape thats holding the OpenTRV project up ?

  3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Is it non-coincidental?

    That the comic strip, to me, has a flavour of not-just-about-computers comedy show "The IT Crowd".

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Is it non-coincidental?

      The IT Crowd was hilarious. The comic was painfully accurate.

    2. ozjthomas

      Re: Is it non-coincidental?

      I am only tangentially aware of the show. It is meant to be sort of an exaggerated version of real life events in bringing a crowdfunding idea to market with radbot. Sorry for the scruffy current comic, but I hope you were still able to enjoy it(these are the roughs). The reg is working on updating it to the final version. :)

      (I drew the comic)

      -Oz

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Is it non-coincidental?

        Thank you - "exaggerated version of real life events" seems to explain the vibe I was getting.

        One "IT Crowd" joke is about the words "Made In Britain". Brief explanation: this is bad news (in the show).

  4. gw0udm

    The basic idea of the project is good but the trouble is it has already been done better by others.

    eg the EQ-3 MAX / HomeMatic range has a mature range of devices which work well and can easily be interfaced with computer control systems.

    Also if you want something a bit more professional the Honeywell EvoHome does a similar job.

    This would have been interesting five or six years ago but it's hard to see any real future in it sadly

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      @ gw0udm

      > The basic idea of the project is good but the trouble is it has already been done better by others

      @ AC

      > See http://opentrv.org.uk/ - it's nothing new or original ...

      @ maffski

      > It's an electro-mechanical radiator valve

      So 3 people there who haven't read anything at all about the product. Yes, it is an electromechanical radiator valve head, but with a big difference from every other product I know of.

      1) If does not need a computer, central hub, time clock, internet access, or any of that - each head operates autonomously. Detecting room occupancy and automatically switching between the temperature set by the user and the set-back temperature (18˚C).

      2) It's open. As in, there is all the information you would need to replciate it yourself if you wanted to, and if you are a geek and want to fiddle about with how it operates then you can get in and do that.

      > Although he could just buy it off these guys and put it in a new box.

      So you haven't compared the pricing then ? Why would someone buy a device that doesn't do what you want, and sell it below cost ?

      .

      So what is so special about these ? Well to start with, it's a solution to a real problem, not (like those Internet of Tat devices) something looking for a problem to solve. I'm sure we've all met the people who just don't understand the concept of a "thermostat", and for whom the display and controls of a time programmer might as well be written in Klingon.

      That's why these don't have a time clock or programmer. The only central hub is the relay box to connect to the boiler - so the boiler automatically runs only when there's at least one rad calling for heat. So connect the relay box to the boiler in place o the room stat, fit the heads, set the room temperature you want. Done. There are very few people who can't grasp "turn the control towards red for warmer room".

      If you want to hook up to a computer (or a server on the internet) and log data, then you can do that - but you don't have to. One target market is social housing where remote monitoring of heating operation could allow alerting if someone has obviously got something really badly wrong so the tenant can be contacted with assistance before they suffer the bill shock a few months/weeks later. I can certainly think of people for whom that would be a good idea.

      I'm looking forward to being able to buy a set.

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