Expectations vs Reality in AV

October 31, 2023

I spend most of my days in Silicon Valley. We work with all the tech companies you have apps for on your phone right now. We work with them to help them have great meetings about how people can edit, filter, adjust, tweak and speed up their latest dance video. When I sink a 200-foot putt and have a backside like Kim Kardashian in my latest YouTube Short, I may have touched it up. Just a little.

It turns out that many of the videos we see every day have probably been edited. I am sorry to be the one to break it to you. I do not have a giant set of super white chompers in my mouth. I can’t bench press 400 lbs.   

I don’t touch up every video. Sometimes I post videos of catching trout in a mountain stream. I really caught that trout. What I didn’t show you was the four hours of me casting and catching NOTHING. I didn’t show you my fishing line tangled in a tree while I cut it loose with a magical string of profanity. I kinda didn’t post that part.   

I use the tools to show myself in the best possible light. We all do. Nobody’s corporate headshot has melty cheese from a delicious Taco Bell Chalupa dripping from one’s chin. I do spend a large portion of my life with cheese on my chin. But I edited it out of my headshot.

There has been a disturbing trend in the last year of folks setting REAL expectations for the performance of their AV – based on videos they watched on their phone. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard these exact words. “They want exactly what they saw in that video.” That means that your pancakes will come slathered in 10-W40 Motor Oil. That is what they use instead of maple syrup when shooting flapjack porn.   

Our manufacturers do take care to make sure what they are posting in their videos is completely possible. They all do. They are not touched up. They are not edited to fake anything at all. They are though, often filmed in close-to-best case conditions. It would be silly to make a video of stuff performing poorly. It would be silly. It would also be silly to have a bunch of disclosures like they do for prescription drugs. “Stop taking Q-SYS immediately if you find yourself attracted to large farm animals. Do not take Q-SYS if you are allergic to Q-SYS or Lua or multicast.” Nobody has time for that nonsense.

So, we make good videos, try to represent our stuff in a very good light, and not trick anyone. Still, the customer expectations are rising like the price of eggs. We rely on integration sales people to try to let the customer know that all of their worldly problems might not be solved by voice-lift. They will not immediately be throwing frisbees on a beach or starring in a musical. “Charamaxonaparole… for living the life you deserve.” 

We rely on our integration partners to say things like, “Your office is 60 feet from a freeway. It is noisy.” We count on them to say “Your CEO mumbles. All I can do is produce louder mumbling.” We don’t mean to put our partners in a tough place. We really don’t. It just happens.

The technology we use and specify is improving at a truly exponential rate. Our abilities as humans to understand, deploy and just wrap our heads around this stuff is mostly static. After opposable thumbs, we were pretty much done with improving our features and benefits. Humans have not had a solid firmware upgrade since Sapien 2.0.

Please ask your customers to be realistic about their expectations. Let us at The Farm help. We are here to provide an amazing experience. We are here to make the best communication and collaboration spaces even better. Sometimes that means dialing some features back. Sometimes it means the absolute newest of the newest bleeding edge tech. We are here help you be the trusted advisor you are. Come to The Farmhouse and see this stuff IRL (in real life. I learned that from our programmers). 

We have not yet figured out how to edit real life. When we do, I will sell it to you.