Update: Leica Goes Dark as TITAN Spins

Update: I did get a call from Leica this morning and with the company’s permission share this note which will be sent to those who received the TITAN e-mail.

Regarding the Leica TITAN technology preview announcement sent on December 20, we now realize that the announcement could have easily been misinterpreted by our audience and would like to further qualify our intention with this effort.

We have a group of very dedicated engineers working on the TITAN technology who are now at the point in the development phase requiring comments and feedback from outside the organization. Therefore, we selected 24 individuals who are industry experts-the people leading the market as new technology trends emerge-with the intention of getting advice, commentary and also to simply begin conversations about the latest 3D technology.

A licensing agreement is required before the download of the software, which includes information on non-disclosure. Therefore, NDAs are not required.

This message was sent to a select group of individuals for feedback and was not intended to be marketing effort.

If you have any additional questions, please contact Mladen Stojic, Director of Enterprise Products, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Original Post

I noted over in Other Points Stefan’s post about his invitation from Leica to be part of technology preview for a new product from Leica. I thought it was great Stefan shared the e-mail message and his concerns about it. Was it viral marketing? How could the company ask him not to share the information since he had no relationship with it? I’d put it this way: If its confidential, why not offer an NDA?

At least two Directions editors (myself included) received the same e-mail. I can confirm that once you visit the site in question (Stefan and I agree there’s no reason to share that) there is a license agreement before you can download the product. So, like Stefan I feel I’m on solid ground to explore this pre-holiday mass mailing since I’ve not agreed to anything.

I went the journalistic route last night and dug up the PR contact (an alias) for Leica and sent an e-mail with questions. It came back almost immediately with note from a former employee saying they’d moved on and to contact another individual. I forwarded the message on to the new e-mail address and this morning received an “I’m gone for the holidays” e-mail. Calls to headquarters (Georgia) this morning ended up in a general voice mailbox though I appeared to be calling during normal business hours. Perhaps the company may already be shut down for the holidays?

That’s really too bad; Leica has a chance to be an upstanding member of the community and respond to Stefan’s concerns. Instead, I fear, the company may let this spiral end up embarassed.  I can’t help think of a similar marketing situation put forward by Tele Atlas earlier this year.

Published Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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