The Post Money Value: Free Advertising October 16, 2006Posted by fukumimi in Travel.
Fellow VC blogger Rick Segal had a post about the advertising power of stickers on his laptop, and I had a similar experience the other day so I thought I’d share it.
I have a Firefox sticker (or more accurately, a GetFirefox.jp sticker) on my laptop (I got a bunch of stickers from my friend Gen, who does his thing at Mozilla Japan), and last week travelling through SFO on my way back to Japan from a trip to the Valley, I had to pull my laptop out of my bag as I passed through customs. The guy at the X-ray machine took a quick look at my machine (a Panasonic Let’s Note, I think this is my 3rd Panasonic machine, and haven’t been tempted to switch to another brand since my first Panasonic – it is a 12″ screen B5 size model, with integrated DVD+RW/CD-RW drive weighing in at 1.2kg and with more than 7 hours of battery juice (I think the newest ones are more like 9-10 hours) and a thankfully small outboard power adaptor, unlike those bricks you get with certain other manufacturers), and instantly inquired if I worked “at Firefox”. I corrected him about the name of the organisation which develops Firefox, and said that I don’t work at Mozilla, but have a friend who does.
I was pleasantly surprised that the Firefox logo was instantly recognisable even to an employee of the TSA, but then maybe that was because this was San Francisco.
In any case, from my brief chat with the TSA guy and the body language of his colleagues, it seems that Firefox is “cool” even outside the IT/internet echo chamber. Whilst the security guys were frisking other people left, right, and center (it was quiet and I guess they were trying to alleviate boredom by opening the bags of nearly everyone going through), I was whisked through by the cheeriest bunch of TSA people I have had the pleasure of meeting since 9/11….
So, apparently I am now a modern day sandwich board man for the Firefox movement, but that’s all good, because I’m all for what the guys at Mozilla are doing. (and if it helps me get through US security quicker than otherwise might be the case, all the better)