infoBoard on the west coast of the USA
It’s hot, it’s cold. For a german man from the north like me the weather here is very different from what I am used to; here, outdoor it’s too hot while indoor too cold.
During the days of the fair we stayed in an accomodation in Koreatown (L.A). It was near the Convention Center and not far from West Hollywood with the famous stops that we had already visisted several times throughout the years.
Our hotel didin’t provide breakfast and in Koreatown there were only privately owned shops, for this reason we drove to Downtown to have breakfast there. Finding a parking spot was a big challenge since the price to leave tha car just for 12 minutes was 3,50$ . At the end we found a small Austrian restaurant called FoodLab and on the terrasse on the back of its building we could enjoy a lovely cozy breakfast with real bread!
Really important and dinamic economic sectors have developped in Calfornia. The secret is: a big amount of capital that is in search for profits. Therefore were established industries that we in Germany had established time before through capital, for example the development of the diesel engine and the creation of airships.
As I imagined I was also contacted from an investment company. They were searching scalable business models. Millions have to be put at stake, otherwise it’s not interesting. I was asked how infoBoard’s exhibitor in the fair was different from the other exhibitors that also offered a planning software. After I looked up our US rival, of which I still didn’t know much: form-based data capturing system and analysing system with charts for projects. Just another project plannning tool with the number 987. Well, America needs infoBoard because we offer a planning interface that is source-oriented and can intuitively be used thanks to its graphic.
At the fair there were a lot of machine producers. The first impression that I had, is that in comparison with German fairs the technology used here is not very modern.The fairs in Hannover, Frankfurt and Düsseldorf look more glamorous.
Here come the potential clients: remain still, look, ask. Some explain infoBoard to their colleagues. We listen to them and we are surprised; how can someone think to know everything from just some images on a monitor?
Many visitors were job hoppers and they always had in mind a company that needed infoBoard, but where they didn’t not work anymore. Surprisingly a continuous change of employer brings the job hoppers to have a lot of experience with ERP implementations and software development and many said that they then knew that software developers didn’have professional experience and that for years they had to tell the developers what the program should do and that what they said was never done. Ok, I also think it is like that but the situation is going to change when infoBoard is installed. InfoBoard has benne completed and it’s the result of 20.000 developers’ team work.
Two men arrive and unfourtanetely from all it had been said I understood only the words “State, California, Cluster”. Later I took a look at their visitng card and it said “Baja California”, meaning they came from the mexican part. It’s a pity because I was looking forward to introducing them to our spanish co-workers that were standing just 1 m. away.
Other two men arrive and one of them talks in German. We probably already met at the same fair two years ago. After we talked a little about if we could present infoBoard like this to the owner of the company on Thursday, we came to the conclusion that we should and we decided to exchange other information or oganise other appointments using my german telephone. It’s strange how we could call without problems but when we wanted to send text messages using an iPhone with the adress of the company, the texts would arrive two days after when I was at the airport. Technology is so strange at times!
On Wednesday we went out to have dinner with the company owner and the general manager. We talked about the very interesting story of the last 50 years of the compan, about how good german education is and the chance to enter successfully the US market. The day after was the presentation of the managers and project managers out of the 400 people in the company. After an hour and a half of infoBoard’s demonstration everbody understood how useful infoBoard was since we assured short-time procedures in the machine shop of the producer.
I now understand better what Germany’s economy needs in order to improve. Banks can no more provide through Basel III the economy with enough money and there aren’t enough investors anymore. Fortunately the first small improvements are occuring in Germany and in the EU. It’s difficult for a normal person who has so many expenses to pay, to be able to save during just one life a personal capital to reinvest.