PMA Magazine has dedicated a cover story titled “Tale of Two Scanners” to the nascent but quickly growing scanning market in its Trends & Technology section. As regards our fun little business, both “Trends” and “Technology” are apropos. In the 20 months that we have been in operation, we have experienced phenomenal growth, thanks mostly to our fantastic affordability and our revolutionary “freedom of choice” model that allows customers to review images online and delete the ones they don’t wish to keep. We have also seen an increasing level of awareness in the minds of both the consumers and the pros which has led to our current environment of fledgling network effect, but we have a long way to go. I don’t have data to support this but probably well over 90% of Americans wake up in the morning and don’t realize that such a service exists. So although the trends are pointing north, we need to continue to do what we can to build category awareness. So getting continued coverage in the press is critical to not only ScanCafe, but to this industry as a whole. As I have said in previous posts – I just want people to convert their imagery. Allowing memories to languish in closets is just not acceptable.
Having best in class quality, of course, helps in building awareness as well (see previous post re: Money Magazine). This is where technology comes into play – to a point. ScanCafe and the other folks in the market use the best equipment and software available. But, guess what, no technology exists that can effectively manipulate or correct imagery in an automated fashion. In a nutshell, technology works where patterns are evident – and patterns are hard to define in an image. For instance, let’s say you have an image that has too much contrast in one section but the rest of the image is acceptable. Technical solutions would apply a correction, in this case adjusting the contrast, to the entire image as opposed to just the section where the correction was needed, resulting in a poor or dull image. This is why ScanCafe provides such outstanding quality – we bridge the technical gap with the trained human eye. Our technicians and graphics artists in Bangalore are truly world class and can apply the human attention that an image deserves, resulting in sharp, crisp images that can be greatly enjoyed by the customer. Again, it is critical for people to convert their analog imagery – but make sure you do so in an environment that results in high levels of quality.