Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Cheeze Doodles, the official snackfood of Vyatta

Allan has been doing all the high-concept blogging lately:

  • How we're different.
  • How we might end up as the next Google (chuckle...)
  • How we're not like vanilla ice-cream (okay, this one wasn't exactly high-concept, but there was a message in there somewhere, I know it).

Me? I'm just trying to get done all the mundane stuff. My afternoon has been spent browsing through schwag catalogs, trying to figure out something nice we can do for the Secret Society party at Interop in May. I think I want a hat of some sort. If people have ideas/preferences, let me know at dave at vyatta.

My basic criteria for schwag is that it be nice stuff, stuff that you'll actually want to use more than once, if not actually cherish. I have been in this business for so long and see so many gimmicky products that people end up dumping into the trash before they even reach the exit door, let alone in their hotel rooms before catching the flight back home. Heck, when I'm walking through a trade-show, I actually refuse to take most schwag that the booth babes try to stuff in my bag simply because it's crap. I wonder how many cubic yards of schwag-crap (to coin a new word) the tradeshow industry hauls from China to our landfills every year? (This seems like one of those factiod stats that some analyst, somewhere, probably keeps track of.)

Anyway, I'm pondering all this and how I can scoop Allan with a high-concept blog post when he walks into the kitchen and returns with Cheeze Doodles. This is what I call them. This week's brand is Cheetos, but we're non-discriminatory and sometimes John buys the low(er)-fat kind from Trader Joes (that really makes me feel like I'm doing something good for my health). In all cases they must be the crunchy kind; the puffed ones are just so... unsubstantial.

I shouted, "Damn you!" and headed to the kitchen for some of my own.

The other day, Allan and I decided that Cheeze Doodles (in all their various branded incarnations) are the official snack food of Vyatta. There's something about the artificial, neon, convicts-on-trash-duty orange color about them that goes with the Vyatta logo. That and they're loaded with fat and basically have no redeeming qualities whatsoever. In short, the perfect startup food. We're thinking about approaching Frito-Lay for a marketing sponsorship, sort of like what they do for the Olympics every four years (or is it two now?).

Allan asked whether we can get small bags of Cheeze Doodles printed with our logo and use those as schwag? Now, that's something Google-esque. Robert countered that we should get dark-colored M&Ms printed with our logo. That would be pretty cool, actually. He says he's seen it done before. I have to look into that. In any case, edible schwag is on our minds today. At least it has a better chance of not ending up in the land fill. And even if it does, the M&Ms should be biodegradable; the Cheeze Doodles probably have a half-life of a few dozen years.

[Side note: this is going to be a really nice Secret Society meeting in Vegas. We have a line-up on a venue and it should be swanky and fun. If you're at all going to be at Interop, make sure you're there on Tuesday night, May 2, for the event.]


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