Life today can be pretty tough. So, if one of the products that Joe Salcedo provides through his new endeavor brightens someone's day, he considers that a victory.
"The overall deal is to pleasantly disrupt your day, even if it’s for half a second. We all have very busy lives and we all have very stressful lives but if you get a little giggle while you’re downloading files onto your Battlestar Galactica flash drive, we've succeeded," Salcedo said.
Salcedo is the founder of The Novo Geek, which launched today, a new website that tries to cater to the discerning geek with products that tickle a fanboy's fancy while also providing utility with items used in the day-to-day live of a professional.
"We're not talking about mugs. We’re not talking about plates. That’s a little too easy," Salcedo said. "We want something that’s more along the lines of a geek nod, if you will. Something you're writing or carrying around or wearing, only a geek would know another geek. You’re still in that secret community among your friends."
The first three months of the product line already have been decided. Early items range from a Battlestar Galactica artist's notebook, Battlestar Galactia cufflinks and ties made from the same fabric as Star Trek uniforms.
Considering that Salcedo also is the founder of Anovos Productions, which produces replica props and costumes from Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica, it's no surprise that those two franchises are the cornerstones of this new endeavor. A few of the upcoming products will be an homage to the Showtime series Dexter (think literally when considering a "thumb" drive), with the first video game-related product (a couple of hints: geometric shapes and Russia) coming out around Halloween.
The delivery system used on Novo Geek mirrors that of Woot. Each item is available for one week, or until inventory is exhausted, whichever comes first. At the end of that timeframe, that item won't be sold again.
"Innovation, I think, is the bloodline of a company. We do that because we want to keep ourselves innovative, we want to keep ourselves creative," Salcedo said. "Everyone expresses their passion, their geekdom, call it what you will, a different way … so that everybody can have a different type of geek item."
The Novo Geek has both a Facebook and Twitter to both encourage involvement of the consumer and also promote the brand.
"That really is going to be the blood of this whole product," Salcedo said. "We plan on having a lot of fun with that. Sometimes Twitter people may get an earlier start than everybody else. Sometimes Facebook people may get an earlier start. It really should reinforce interaction with all the fans."
Here are more highlights from our one-on-one interview with Novo Geek founder Joe Salcedo.
On interacting with the Novo Geek demographic -- re: fellow geeks.
SALCEDO: What kind ofmakes it unique is, unlike Woot, we actually do the manufacturing. We specialize that with Novo … we’ve kinda learned a few tricks of the trade and got in contact with a few partners. It's a quick-to-market scenario where we approached our partners at NBC and CBS and what do you want me to do with this? What would you like? The good part of it is, because we have that ability, because we are manufacturing, we plan on being very integrated into the fandom. Asking people, what do you want to see? And if we end up using your idea, we’ll send you a few. That’s where this is all going. Making everyone’s dreams a reality.
On how the Novo Geek concept came about ...
SALCEDO: This idea actually came out by accident... like all good ideas, right? Oddly enough we were at Comic-Con (Editor's Note: We were too!) last year and we were having trouble selling the exclusives we had on the floor. I turn to my web guy and I said, ‘What if we just threw it on the Internet? Do it for a limited amount of time.’ Within two minuts we sold everything out. ... People saw an innovative novel product and they absorbed it very quickly. Since then, it’s just been, frankly, nonstop. Getting ready for manufacturing, making sure we have at least three months of product. One new product a week. It’s a lot of work, a lot of manufacturing, but we’re looking forward to it.
On the planned product line ...
SALCEDO: Star Trek in and of itself is like nine different shows, and that’s excluding the movies. Right now our biggest fcus is expanding out the Galactica series and the Star Trek line with a little bit of Dexter mixed in. We do have some projects with NBC and hopefully some other properties in the works which I’m unable to say.
On reception for the initial product ...
SALCEDO: We routinely take our products out in the field if you will. People who actually engineer these products come from all walks ofl ife. We have people in the healthcare industry, a person in data management, a person who was a car salesman at some point and another who worked at Starbucks. Who is the Novo Geek? You. Me. Everybiody. The people who actually make these things are not just design engineers. These are people who have real lives, who still have real lives, and just want to have the most innovative product out there. Wae take a lot of these items into the field. I do have my set of X number amount of people I do present new projects to. For the most part, it’s been very well received. Obviously we don’t want to venture into something too far into the deep end, but at the same time, we don’t wanna get too classical like mugs or T-shirts. Instead it's, cufflinks, what can you make into cuff links? Because they’re shiny. They’re jewelry. You make character sets, and suddenly you have product. And the wonderful thing is when you start testing it and people start testing it, that’s the most amazing part. Because it looks discreet. I was sitting in Panera, you know, and I saw a bunch of Jedis walking in for the 3D Episode 1 release. I couldn’t help but think they were a little uncomfortable in the looks they were getting. The more that you can provide geeks with discreet items that nod to their passion, that’s what people are looking for. … Our biggest gauge is probably people out on Facebook and Twitter who send us their feedback. Sometimes I get e-mails from people who say I’m wearing the Star Trek tie to my daughter’s wedding, and can you make me a Star Trek handkerchief?
And finally, our motto here at Gonzogeek is that everyone is a geek about something. What are you a geek about?
SALCEDO: What brought me to this world was Battlestar Galactica. We’ll talk about classic and we'll talk abpou new. I was growing up around the time Star Wars came out. That was the thing, your mom left for work and you got to watch coming back home. For me, Battlestar Galactica was the classic outfit. The space=looking cowboys with their guns kiinda planted on the hip, popping in their awesome Vipers and stuff like that. We’ve dealt with Star Trek uniforms. We’ve got Zachary Quinto’s whole uniform. Captain Picard, Captain Riker’s uniform even some original Star Trek unis. But I’ve never felt giddy. It was, take it apart, understand it, put it together. The other day though I got the chance to actually pattern out Starbuck’s costume from the original series. I think that's as close to giddy as you would ever get me. … later it carried on to the wonderful newer reindition. Ultimately it’s what got us started with the Novo, the new Battlestar Galactica and recreating some of those costumes and using that literally as our business card. But that’s a whole other story.