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The Post Money Value: Free Advertising October 16, 2006

Posted by fukumimi in Travel.

The Post Money Value: Free Advertising

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)



1. Gen Kanai - October 16, 2006

Great to hear even the TSA uses Firefox 🙂

2. matt - October 17, 2006

Now if only the TSA could be as secure and speedy as Firefox . . . 🙂

3. Seether « Dinges’ Blog - October 19, 2006

[…] New thin-client laptop has no hard-drive. New MediaGate device can stream just about any type of video/music to your TV. Apple’s Woz visited Microsoft to spread the love. There is a new ad network for small to medium bloggers out there. Folks that are good with math, suck with people. The new Sears ad about the Xbox 360, gives the middle finger to the ESRB. Stack your peripherals! There is a new wall outlet design in town. Windows PC on a stick. The no-fly lists are a joke. In the tonight’s cage match, Glossy vs. Matte! Bill Gates talks to the first son on Nigeria. More games are getting Steamed! In the next cage match, Apple DVR vs. Windows Media Center. If we can’t surf the internet, then the terrorists have won. Never underestimate the power of free advertising. That is one crappy costume! What is so different about the new Windows Vista? What is the next killer app for mobile phones? Talking!?! Microsoft is already working on the successor to the 360. Skip all meetings. […]

4. Juan - January 1, 2008

Can you send me some firefox stickers

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