You are about to start working on a "console" to control the Detour Flag guy: something to allow/encourage a passer-by to control him via a smartphone.
But before you start on that -- you get a lucky break: a spot on a counter in the Taza Chocolate Bar, in downtown Boston.
This is a location in the real world: an IoT outpost in the colder, harsher world beyond Cambridge Hackspace, where the Detour Flag guy had been hanging out.
You score this beachhead after your first email, to your first choice.
Why the Taza Chocolate Bar:
- Because you had already stopped by the place a few times since it opened, as one of the anchor tenants in an ambitious agricultural marketplace in the center of Boston: the Boston Public Market.
- Because the chocolate is radical: strong, gritty, to-the-point. Dark. A few squares from a $5 Taza Chocolate bar in your desk drawer, with an Earl Grey Tea chaser, was a sure-fire ticket to a late afternoon lift.
- Also, the radical, untraditional nature of the chocolate gave you the idea that the company was probably radical and untraditional.
- Also, you had visited the factory once, for The Boston Globe, so you knew it was not your typical startup.
- Also, they seemed to be into untraditional venues: you had seen them at many farmer’s markets.
- Also, you had noticed that the Taza CEO would often ride past you on your way to work. He rode a stripped-down road bike. One time, surprised to see him, you just said “Taza Chocolate” as he rode by. He gave you a wave.
So you sent an email to the PR/Press address on the Taza website.
A week or so later, you are sharing a dark hot chocolate in the Boston Public Market with Amanda, Taza's retail manager.
Your pitch: a little interactive guy with a DETOUR flag, controllable by visitors' smartphones, might make the Taza Chocolate Bar a little more interesting.
Surprisingly, she got the idea almost instantly.
"Sounds fun," she said. "Just check with the manager, Christine, when she gets in tomorrow."