No WINE Before Its Time.

December 23rd, 2010 by CASUDI (Caroline Di Diego)


Perhaps applicable to technology as well……..

This post is dedicated to Ksenia Coffman, Marketing Manager at Firetide, a wireless infrastructure mesh company, whom I met on twitter when she wrote a quite memorable post on the iTampon. I have been following the action at Firetide with great interest.

Here is my story: 15 years ago our boutique technology consultancy esse-group consulted for a UK company, Active Imaging, to market their new product: MvNet; the very first small IP camera (camera, video server, and internet connection in one plug and play package). We really had vision in 1995!

One of the many things we did was to create the following print media campaign (quite successful I might add); it tells the Active Imaging story.

Check this very recent post by Ksenia on LA County Video Mesh profiles in Law Officer Magazine

When I read this I decided I had to do my piece on Active Imaging, which has been on the back burner for several months. BTW, this advert ran in SDM & Security Magazine in July 1996. (Click to enlarge)

This advert targeted travel and sports; specifically related websites which wanted to portray real time live action. This ran in several publications including INTERNET WORLD magazine. [Click image to enlarge]

One of my favorites; again targeting security and surveillance; it ran quite successfully in a number of publications specific to the industry. [Click image to enlarge]

The environmental model of the MvNET was designed to target transportation, shipping, and construction project monitoring. [Click image to enlarge]

Part of a tradeshow display. Booth won the Best In Show award; unfortunately this was the only image I could find!

Video conferencing via the internet; video collaboration; subsidiaries & field offices connected; RFID…….”remote is no longer an issue”, our 1995 vision. [Click image to enlarge]

One of the many publications which were excited enough to place our client’s MvNET on the front cover. BTW, we did NOT design this cover or approve art work prior to publication; however it was great coverage. [Click image to enlarge]

I know we had great vision, a great product, and a great team, but in spite of this I just get the sense that something very important was missing in 1995? Something like the infrastructure…. check out Firetide. BTW This ran in Security Dealer. [Click image to enlarge]

We also created the CI and branding program for the UK company’s debut in the US. We collaborated closely with in-house marketing in the US & UK to create an integrated marketing solution, including print media, sales materials, dealer and tradeshow programs, online presence and PR. We had perfect product placement of the Active Imaging MvNET camera in the SGI booth (or was it the SUN booth?) at the first INTERNET WORLD show in San Jose, CA. The crowd really began to understand the scope and implications of the internet when they saw themselves live online, and even though those first cameras were running at only 15 frames/second, this did not dampen their enthusiasm, and the MvNET camera was the hit of the show (management sent staff to clear the aisles around the booth for fire/security reasons!) Another PR success we initiated was the first live  & online broadcast of the Emmy’s, via the Active Imaging MvNET; you can read about it in my PR of the time.

I should also mention the company had a very successful stock issue on AIM; was acquired by SilverMines plc. in 1996, and then seemed to disappear. It was always a puzzle to me that even though it was demonstrated in great detail, neither Polaroid nor Kodak picked up on this very early, really cool, plug and play internet camera…..

Then-CEO John Osborne went on to found other successful companies, and is currently co-founder and CEO at Tarsin, which provides a universal mobile content delivery solution. Can you say serial-entrepreneur?

Thanks to Robert Mondavi, for “No Wine Before its Time”

Finally, please let me know how you can tell if you are way ahead of the curve? Could we have figured this out in 1995? It’s quite easy now looking back…….. what products do you see out there that you think are before their time?

@CASUDI  Designing Success

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