The Critical Beta People
From the very first we considered user input to be critical to the design's success. As soon as we had anything to show, we recruited a very well-placed group of individuals we called "Beta People". We were the Alpha people, the first testers. Beta Sites were real gem dealers whom we befriended and subjected to endless questions, ill-designed questionnaires, flaky scales, and lots of love. For their troubles, which were aplenty, they got to use some amazing new gadgets before anyone else did. They also got to keep these scales for free. When the Legal-for Trade fiasco hit Tucson in 2001, we supplied free Legal scales to our Beta people, to use and to keep. We were really very generous with them, but we felt that they were very generous to us with their time. And when the scales (finally) did work, we couldn't have had a better Public Relations Corps. And some great times. Thank you, Betas, one and all. We will indeed miss you.
|Our Initial Beta Sites
|Later, we added:
And here are JB, Betty Sue King of King's Ransom, and Marian. Betty Sue was one of our most incredibly enthusiastic Beta Sites.
Bob Beard of Dharma Trading was indeed the Godfather of the G100, and when we managed to make it at last, we sent him a complimentary one. Thank you, Bob.
Later, he also got to test the D125. It looked like a winner.
John Allaman who founded Sarasota Instruments had a fascinating little digital wizardry for measuring refractive index (he called it "reflective index") called the Jemeter. We once swapped a Gemscale for one of his meters. He wasn't really a Beta Site, more like a friend in the business. He smartened up in life somewhere in the mid-90's, and switched to selling kayaks! By 2002, he had found yet a new career. In his words, "Yes I have moved in to Real Estate, no longer burdened by the weight of minerals, the vision of optics, the lugging out and putting back of Kayaks every day. Now I am a land trader selling swamp land in Florida." Go, John. The very best of luck to you.
John Hatleberg in his element
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