Reason to Celebrate

by Kurt Othmer | April 22nd, 2008

It’s been a few months, and it’s been a total whirlwind here at EEG Info so let me try to remember all the way back to November for a moment. It seems like a year ago now, but that was about the time when all of us here at EEG Info held our breath as we put Cygnet out to you, our Neurofeedback community. We ordered 100 extra NeuroAmps, on top of our regular inventory, just to prepare for the rush that we hoped to get. We knew we had created something that fit our training model, that was easy to use, beautiful to look at, and functionally the most advanced design we have ever built. But what about you — the customer? Would you find it as intuitive, useful and appealing as we designed it to be? Would anyone actually appreciate all this hard work and huge amounts of money and energy and risk that went into the creation of this product?


At the beginning of November we had a couple home users out there using Cygnet, and a few beta testers over in Europe, but mostly Cygnet was being used in our clinic, and being constantly added to and improved by the developers. We decided that it was time to get this out to the Neurofeedback community. Cygnet was ready. It was stable; it was giving us better results than we’d ever seen before, and going back and teaching to the old software in the training courses, and doing tech support on old systems all day, was starting to become a drag when we knew we were sitting on something so amazing. So we set the date of November 8th, the first day of the clinical summit in Boston. We had worked hard to keep quiet about the launch as we talked on the phones and encouraged people to join us at the summit, but all the while not able to tell them what it was that was going to be so great about this particular summit. Finally, the summit arrived. We got another last minute version e-mailed from the developers — oh, and then one more new version, and some sort of graphical change that had to come from the LA office, then to the developer in Europe, and then back to Boston where at the last minute we burned the new version onto new DVDs that we happened to bring along just in case. Then Sue unveiled Cygnet for the class, and walked through all the features. We had some wonderful ooohs and aaahs from the crowd as Sue showed the simple slider and the game selection, and then we waited to see if anyone liked it so much that they would actually buy it and add it into their practice. At the same time we sent out a mailing from our LA office to the larger Neurofeedback community, announcing the launch of Cygnet. Would people actually like what we created? After all, we are entering an increasingly crowded market for such a small field. We all crossed our fingers and waited.

Well, I am pleased to announce that you have proclaimed Cygnet a success. You have said loud and clear that Cygnet is the product that you would like to use. We sold out of our entire inventory — and those extra 100 NeuroAmps as well — all before the end of January. We have been hounding our European colleagues to deliver more systems to us to handle the current demand. And we have been consistently backlogged, our offices in the US and Europe have been selling out of every shipment of NeuroAmps that we have received since January (just got a big shipment Friday for those of you who have been waiting patiently — thank you). But what really amazes me is the upwelling of support that went along with Cygnet. It’s not just that it sold; although we are very grateful for that. What is really wonderful for us here in the office is the positive feedback we’ve been getting from you, and the fact that many of you bought it without even looking at it. I took a couple calls in the first week, I barely started to mention that we had a new product or its price, and I had an order for it.

Thank you! We have just had such a galvanizing start to 2008. Thank you for the tremendous support from all of you in this Neurofeedback community. Your comments coming back lately about Cygnet, about our upgraded look on the web, our new videos and about all our new staff members, have been so appreciated and inspiring for us. I am so grateful when someone takes the time to write an e-mail back to comment on being happy. In “customer service” a thank you dropped in is very welcome, and we’ve been getting a number of them lately, to a degree we have never seen before. We really are doing a lot, and to see it being well received is motivating for us all. Thank you.

So in my mind, all of that is reason enough to have a party. But the official reason for the party, the exclamation mark in time that allowed us to say “Ok, let’s all celebrate now!” was when our partners in Europe received the letter — very quickly in fact — from the FDA, stating that we now have our 510K clearance on Cygnet and the Neuroamp, which is something that often takes months to years to get, and is so laborious and expensive that many companies do not even bother. So to receive this so quickly was such a blessing. It was a testimony to the thoroughness of the original submittal.

So we gathered up the team, which is a bigger project than you might think. We had two flights from Europe, one from Colorado and one long drive from San Diego just to get the majority of our crew all in one place. Some of the people in the room had not even met face to face before, so it was very exciting to pull everyone together. The party was such a lot of fun, and I spent time marveling at what a positive group of people have come together to make all of this possible.

Please have a look at our party photos, and thank you for being part of our Neurofeedback family and for making our new software such a great success.

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