Thursday, July 12, 2007
Sean McCarthy CEO of Steorn stepped into the public forum today and took time out to answer a few questions from forum members after the recent failed London Demo at Kinetica.
JoinTheFun: On a more serious note : what's the status of the African pump project ?
Sean: The pump I believe is being installed at the moment.
Wasn't that the reason you didn't replace the devices with stopstarts from Dublin?
Sean: As I said we bought three (CM) devices from Dublin in parts, got one working on site (it can take a while to balance the radial loads on the system) and then while under pressure used the parts from the other two systems to try and fix the prime system. It did not work. Thats the facts of the situation, believe it or believe it not.
JoinTheFun:There are a couple of days left in the Kinetica. Any chance of showing the world a working device these coming days ?
Suomipoika: Sean! Are your all OU-devices so fragile that they'll breaka) if transported by car orb) if lights are too bright?
I could understand if there was to be some nervosity between the investors right now. Do they actively follow the company developments, or do they act as distant financial investors? How are they taking the demo failure?
Sean: Clearly no one involved in the company is happy about the failed demo, but despite this we also need to keep perspective - its a failed demo full stop. It has shaken to the core any confidence that people not involved with the company have, and this is understandable. But we know what we have to things are not as dire as people would like to make them. We will do the demo, and then move on.
JoinTheFun: How is the overall mood in your team ?
Sean: Clearly it was not a good week. But we are 'back in the saddle' and a lot more motivated than we were a few weeks ago, so in a strange kind of way the failure of the demo may in fact speed up our route to market, we will see.
JoinTheFun:Can you tell us how recent events have affected the SPDCites ?Did you meet Babcat ?
Sean: I had a chance to meet a few of them for an extended period on Friday and Saturday, I have not had a chance to head into the SPDC, but we do consider the SPDC key to the Steorn project and so have a lot of confidence to regain with them. We are pulling together a plan to do that.
tony: Why are you even attempting to demo before the Jury verdict is out? p.s. I dont understand why you would even try to convince anyone before this. Surely you should be pragmatic, what if the verdict goes against you?
Sean: Tony - It seemed like a good week to put ourselves back on the agenda, we got on the agenda but for the wrong reasons. Sean
mrflora: The pump again, Sean... are you saying that now, today, this week, a pump is being installed in Africa that is driven by Orbo overunity technology?
Sean: The pump is being installed by a local engineering contractor (I do not know the exact schedule), once this is in place we will install the Orbo power supply for it.
hugojpinto: Do you realize and believe that doing a convincing demo + technology showcase + providing straight replication access is a critical piece of in gaining confidence in the near future?
Sean: Yes - and perhaps even a bit more than that.
/: Sean, we have heard that many actual Orbo-based systems have been made by external companies (like the "validation toys", for the Africa pump, etc.). Can you tell us some rough figure how many third-party engineering companies have been involved so far?
crank: What did you think of Spiritual Beggar's cartoon?
Sean: lol - I had a beer with SP on friday and he told me that I was doing great things for his creativity - damn him!!! There was a copy of it on my desk this morning, its fantastic!.
blueletter: Did you sir, or did you not, get piss drunk on the very night of both your infamous demo debacle and your wife's foot breaking incident?
Sean: Nope. And no my wife did not break her foot kicking me around the place, she broke it the day before we went to London.
rosco: Hi Sean, are the public relations company behind your strategy? If so isn't it time to get rid of them as it seems like you've now used up nine lives in public opinion terms
Sean: Sure it may seem that way to you at the moment, bottom line is that it is a failed demo, embarrasing for sure, but no more than that. We will do a demo, then lets see what happens.
FLD: Sean - is the African water pump driven by fuel-less Orbo technology? Yes or no will be fine thanks.
Sean: It will be fuel-less when the project is completed, at the moment we are only in the process of installing the basic pumping system.
korkskrew: I still don't understand the purpose of a demo. It seems like a lot of expense for no real business reason. Is it just for our entertainment? Seems like a lot of money and effort for that.
Sean: Hi Korkskrew, with a claim so wild we decided that we need to do multiple things to errode the view that we do not have what we claim to have. This event failed, very clearly failed, but we believe that it was worth the effort and will do the demo. Our prime investment was in marketing materials and these will be used for the rescheduled event when we decide to do it.
SteornTracker: Hi Sean, back in April you mentioned that there would be a second quarter Jury update. Are you still planning on providing an update? When do you think that update will be available? Thanks, SteornTracker
Sean: Hi ST, have not even thought about the subject at the moment.
FLD: This event failed, very clearly failed, but we believe that it was worth the effort
errrm...it was an utter failure and made you a laughing stock but it was worth the effort?
As in we believe that it is worth the effort doing public demos, this one did not work out but we will for sure do public demos again in the future. On openness, in the post cancellation video you mentioned something about being less cryptic and covert, and pushing Steorn into a more open direction. Can you expand on that?
Sean: We have plans in place to deal with the confidence issues, but I will not be pre-announcing these, they will happen and let people debate them at that time. Thanks, Sean.
prprior: Sean, for the sake of those that don't think this is a lie, hoax, or dilusion, why can't you post a video of at least a partial orbo? Enough to conceal any secrets with the design, but showing enough to ease a dry tongue.
Sean: As stated we will be doing stuff, I will not be going into what it is or when it will happen but we acknowledge that we do need to some additional things after the failure of the demo.
Kaiser Jive Albino: Sean, how long would it take an engineer at Steorn to build a working unit from scratch, with off the shelf parts? Will individuals be able to replicate it with "minimal" tooling? Thanks for your answers, and great to see you back btw!
Sean: Good to be back (I think) - the ease of replication for a hobbist has been a concern, however I do believe that one of the SPDC folks got a system running for 8 hours or so with what looks like pretty minimal parts, but I have not had a chance to look into this in any detail yet.