New, Now and Next in Technology
Kings: It’s a combination of things. You need to look at who’s in the game, who has got staying power. Early on, with Media Centers, it was HP, Sony and, at the very high end, Niveus and Microsoft along with Exceptional Innovation. They did an incredible job of capturing the idea of all content streaming through the entire home through one user interface ... the whole nine yards, and a bit of the utopia of the connected home.
We usually roll out new technologies at a couple of different stores as a test, and see the reaction from the floor and run things in our lab looking for bugs. With Control4, the real proof was when we started integrating it into customers’ homes and seeing what kind of reaction we got, how many service calls we did, whether [or not] it was meeting customers’ expectations. A lot of the success is hats off to the company itself. They’re one of the most pro-active and reactive companies as far as getting something right as well as admitting when something wasn’t. That’s rare. Sometimes, with bigger companies, there are more layers to the structure and maybe that information doesn’t always flow up as high as it needs to, whereas with smaller companies, it tends to hit the top pretty quickly.
Dealerscope: Where have new technologies fallen short?