#2: Coffee, Demos, and Wasting My Time

Ryan_NameI hate coffee sometimes. Not the drink per se. In truth there’s few things I love as much as I love coffee.

I have trouble dealing with the fact that grabbing a coffee remains the precursor to a meeting. Going out for a business facing beer also bothers me quite a bit. Why can’t someone just call or email you to sit down in their office and have the conversation that they intended to have? Why do we have to shell out $2 a piece at a well decorated cafe to chat?

I was chatting with Alison about this problem last week and she said, “Some people need something in their hands to hold onto in order to talk about an unknown topic. It’s not like these are pitches or serious business meetings you’ve been having. Coffee makes the time feel more leisurely and relaxed. Hell, the first time we met about Merge was during a beer after I got off work. Did that mean you hated that time as well.”

“Yes,” I said. “I was there for business and you were the one who suggested beers. I needed something from you and the ball was in your court. I didn’t enjoy the small talk, but it led to what I wanted.”

“Thanks,” she said as she walked out of the hallway we were in.

“Thanks for what?” I yelled back.

“Thanks for reminding me that you’re an asshole,” she replied leaving the office completely.

The meeting I had with the journalist, Jack, was borderline frustrating. He had the same reaction as most people, maybe a little more subdued, but I expected that. He was probably trying to keep some semblance of unbiased reporting. Who gives a shit about unbiased reporting anyway?

If you’re on The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, [insert typical online news source here] you’ll find most reporters have no clue how to be unbiased. Why hide? People want opinion, controversy, emotion. Jack probably doesn’t even care about being unbiased. God knows I don’t.

This week has been moving too slowly, anyway. Maybe that’s why I’m getting annoyed.

It’s been a wasteful week here at Merge. The software is still sloppy and full of routine bugs that Alison hasn’t gotten on top of, Jasper hasn’t been able to identify the battery issue with the device, and our intern Holly still hasn’t finished compiling that list of U.S. vendors I asked for. It’s a shit show all around and it seems like I’m the only one who cares.

The only major piece of news that happened around the office was a particularly eventful demo. Not like the wasted demo with the journalist. I finally met with Hansen Adams, the CEO of Tyht.

I’ve been trying to get this guy in a room for about 3 months and he was in town checking in on an investment and I had him and one of his hardware guys take a look at Merge.

After the NDA’s (non-disclosure agreements) were signed they delved into the product. Like everyone, they were impressed by what we have already created. Their main question was regarding how we were planning on expanding the software offerings. This was a pretty typical question from someone who knows what the hell they’re doing.

In the end, Hansen agreed to start working on residual software pieces in the next month. It was a short meeting in reality. Maybe 25 minutes. Demos don’t normally go that quickly.

We had a politician take a tour of the office and try out Merge right after Hanson left. She had lots of grandiose things to say about Merge and “it’s companies like yours that will drive innovation throughout the entire country and create a whole new market for jobs.”

What a blow hard.

She came. Grabbed her photo-op. And left in less than 12 minutes. Alison couldn’t be bothered to show up, but Jasper was as giddy as a 6-year-old watching The Little Mermaid for the ninth time. He had to be distracted by one of the politician’s handlers in order for the time wasting politician to extract herself from the office and head out to bother another company that’ll look good in her monthly printed newsletter to an elderly grandma who can’t comprehend how to use the Internet let alone a device like Merge.

God I hate time sucks. I need to get the hell out of the office.

Next Post – #3: Finding Progress and Money

Previous Post – #1: The First Cafe Meeting


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