Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chapter 3.1 "Interview"

Note: IPO is a novel blogged in-progress.

The three men in the conference room looked uncomfortable in their white shirts and ties. The big one with the comb-over was obviously the leader.

"Miss Flamel, thank you for seeing us today."

"My pleasure," Jennifer said, nodding to the others. "I've brought in an analyst from New York to look at your prospectus. This is Martin Dial."

Martin felt his chest tighten as he decided to play along. "I'm afraid I don't have a hard copy with me."

Comb-over slid him a copy and started his pitch. "If I may, I'd like you all to take a breath and think for a moment: What is it, exactly, that people are looking for on the Net?"

Jennifer piped up first. "Information, products, communication, and interaction."

"Yes, of course," replied comb-over, smiling. "All these are new things that people seek. But what about the things we've lost--possessions, pets, or loved ones that can not be replaced? Until now, the Net has only offered us a means to acquire distractions from what we truly miss."

"So you're offering a virtual pet?" Martin asked.

"Not just any pet, Mr. Dial, your pet, complete with it's own unique personality just as you remember it. The Memento software that we've devised can replicate the "posessional" experiences of a lifetime."

"And how is this knowledge acquired?"

"It builds on shared knowledge. That's the beauty of Memento. Say you were fond of your first dog. By answering interview questions, you help the system create a custom animal from our database of common breed characteristics. The more people who subscribe, the more complete and varied our models become."

"We're getting a little ahead of ourselves here, I'm afraid," Jennifer injected. "I mean, why would anyone subscribe just to bring back their dog? It sounds like a one-time transaction to me."

"Oh no," Comb-over smiled. "One's personal possessions or pets are just the bait where we bring back your memories to a much more vivid state. For our subscription business model, we're counting on people wanting to experience the memories of others."