Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Polish Startup community, wake up and smell the freaking coffee

Paul Chen

A few months ago, MOCAK Art museum in Krakow installed beacons produced by Kontakt.io.  It was installed by HG Intelligence.  All are Krakow companies.  The only information available is my article, this short bit on the HG Intelligence website, and this info on the MOCAK website.
Why isn't the Polish and Krakow startup community more excited about it? Finally a product, built in Krakow, can be used by Cracovians and not even a single peep?  Polish startup community thinks that having a Unicorn is the only thing that matters, and gain you validation.  Well, you are missing the point.  You want traction? This is a low pressure way to get traction and users.   I would have expected that Gazeta Wyborcza would have done something about it. I understand that the main actor in MOCAK is the art not the technology. But this article in the New York Times proves my point.  A certain VC partner would rather promote the NY Times article than a development right in his backyard.  For shame!

Marketing isn’t Poland’s best suit

Technology is installed to be used. So people should be using it. If the advertisement is so miniscule then, people will think that it isn't important.  So we should be seeing a TVN or a TVP Krakow report about it.  Get the press involved.  The whole startup community in Krakow should go to the museum and bask in the Bluetooth glory.  

I know that it isn't as sexy as retail applications of beacons where it is making money for some business, but this is where you are dead wrong.  Beacons in museums are the perfect way to introduce the technology to the public.  It is low commitment and people are more forgiving.  If the technology fails in retail, then it is investment lost and the store owners can raise a stink.  If it fails in a museum setting, people are not so angry because they still have beautiful art to enjoy. any you get a chance to see what is wrong and fix it.

Teens are hard to impress

It is also another way to get teenagers excited about the technology. Teens are a lot more receptive to new technology than adults. So having them use it at the museum might inspire some teens to want to start a startup in the future or get into coding.  Which in turn, insures the startup community more fresh talent in the future.  

I am not doing this because I love MOCAK. Although, I think it is a fine institution.  I am frustrated because of the lack of vision of the community.  Wake up and smell the damn coffee! Stop being all academic, looking for cute ways because the solution is right at the end of your noses.

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