1.12.2007

Voodoo CES 2007: The most incredible event ever!

HPs acquisition of Voodoo is still fairly fresh. That being said, it takes time to develop and go to market with a brand new portfolio. We wanted this years CES to be all about future possibilities as we collaborate together to build out our new portfolio.

Thanks to everyone involved, we were able to show just a tiny fraction of the I.P. available at HP labs this year. We were showcasing a cool F1 racing simulator (that I must tell you, blew away any of the so-called simulators on the floor to no end). The HP Gaming simulator featured a future display that blew minds -- this display was found deep in the heart of labs as a potential next generation commercial product. Rather than labelling it as a one-track project, people on our team felt it would make a great display to play games on.

Was it a success? Well, when a staunch, all business, no nonsense CEO with bags of money sits down on the simulator and begins to giggle like a child to no end - one might say that's a success in its own right.

We were also showcasing a few back-room projects not yet publicly announced. There is so much more to show, but we just wanted people to imagine the possibilities.

I thought I would share a few shots from the event. To those of you who thought HP would change Voodoo in a negative way, let’s just say you are in for a surprise.

The feedback that we have received has been extremely positive -- there was one thing someone that to us over dinner that I will not soon forget: He was impressed when he saw how HP openly embraced the Voodoo brand. From the party at Club Pure with the dedicated Voodoo Lounge, to the unofficial HP House of Voodoo tent inside the HP booth – it all shows that HP has no intentions of changing what we do. In fact, rather than hide us or ignore us HP made an effort to showcase our stuff, and a few pieces of I.P directly that we selected out of HP Labs.

Typical in Voodoo fashion we always have something cool going on at shows, and HP allowed us to amplify this further. We even had Voodoo Dolls putting temporary Voodoo Tattoos on passers-by. Needless to say, HP gets it, and the show was a mega-success for us.

We definitely want to thank Satjiv Chahil and David Roman for the extra love they showed us - not to mention all the people who worked to make the entire show a success.

Everyone involved at HP did a fantastic job, you should all be very proud: HP truly made a positive impression with all of the media, friends, and enthusiasts that we spoke with at CES. Even our competition was impressed, and that’s pretty tight.

So enjoy the photos below, we took many more – I may have some videos of the event posted up next week so stay tuned!


Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Floating Voodoo mask

Club Pure: Voodoo Hula Girl

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Phil, Paul, Mark

HP House of Voodoo Tent: Me driving the F1 Simulator

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: the rotating Goblet of Power

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Another Voodoo Hula Girl

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Mark in the display area

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Wow! These girls are very talented

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: In the background the bongo drummer

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Ravi and Rahul checking out the action

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Mark hanging out with the Voodoo Dolls

Voodoo Lounge at Pure: Ouch!

13 comments:

Jorge said...

You're kidding, right?

I've watched Voodoo carefully since its birth years ago in Calgary and pardon me for my harsh criticism, but HP is clearly taking you in a bad direction. Maybe you don't see this because you're in the middle of it.

First Voodoo was all about the machine. And this is how Voodoo became strong. If you had a Voodoo, you had a kickass machine and everyone was jealous for good reason.

Then in the last few years Voodoo became a high end PC builder - powerful, personal, authentic, luxurious, etc. Image became important, of course - you were growing. This was the beginning of the end of Voodoo in my opinion - you had a strong brand, nothing but the best equipment and only the elite could afford a Voodoo. And it was worth it to own a Voodoo just for the hardware, because owning a Voodoo meant that you had a machine that would kick ass for years and when people thought of Voodoo there was something 'mysterious' about it. But that changed quickly.

Now Voodoo is using skanky women and bling to peddle its products. Hardly the Ferrari of PC's - more like the Budweiser of PC's. Did you forget about the machine, Rahul? Where is the authenticity? You've taken the focus off the machine and shifted it to whorish imagery.

Yes, I can see how HP 'gets it'. They clearly have no problem setting you up with some trashy women, big shiny pedestals and sparkly curtains and debasing yourself (at whose expense, hmm? Think about that.) Not to mention that Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard themselves were ALL about shiny things and loose women. Yep, HP gets it. They have nothing to lose, when the Voodoo name becomes weak they just skid you and Ravi, take over production and add the Voodoo logo to their high end boxes, no big deal.

And what's with YOU, Rahul? Out of twelve pictures there is one of an actual product, barely. An Omen - which has been around for quite a while now. A current Omen owner is going to upgrade to what this year? Another Omen? Sure this year has been a busy one, but did you have to forget about what made you strong in order to become acquired by HP? Where is the hardware?

I've participated in your blog for over a year now and noticed how it went from technology, to technology sprinkled with industry, to industry sprinkled with people, now it's about people sprinkled with HP advertisements and HP ass-kissing. Now I come here to see how your posts fit in with my prediction of how HP will take your once proud company and drag it through the mud unless you stand up for yourself.

I don't have anything against HP, heck, from my university days with my HP48G to today where I've got a nice big HP laser printer sitting next to me I've thought they had good stuff (sometimes they faltered of course). But put you two in the same room and you've got two cooks in the same kitchen and you come up with the farce that was the CES - parties, hoochies, and bling. Wow. Why? Who thought of that? Do that enough and people will think of Voodoo as the Britney Spears of PC builders.

Really, what the heck are you doing with the Voodoo brand? Why isn't anyone from within your company pointing out what a farce the Voodoo name is becoming before it’s too late? Even Alienware and Falcon have kept mostly away from skanky imagery and focused on the machine. I honestly don't see that anymore from Voodoo - I see fancy packaging and bling but the machine is far in the background. And if you're wondering, the reason I care is because I'm a Calgarian and I've cheered you on for years, now I feel like a fool and embarassed that I'd done that. I'd rather see Voodoo truly succeed despite the acquisition by HP - you still have a chance to be more than that.

Jesus man, smarten up before your products become a Best Buy shelf item and you get fired from HP and are left without any credibility. Don't let HP ruin the Voodoo name, and even more importantly, don't let HP ruin your own personal 'Rahul Sood' brand. In the circles just outside your radar you should know that people aren't taking you seriously anymore because of the HP dilution. They don't trust you to be impartial because every post in your blog now has some half-pitch about HP and if someone legitimately criticized that, guess where their post goes? You can change that before it's too late.

I don't expect you to allow this message to pass to your blog because the truth is sometimes painful, so take it as a personal message. But I also challenge you to let it go to your blog and address it. Tell everyone that you promise to do your best to remain impartial and focus back on the technology before you're left with nothing. Tell your bosses at HP that being true and honest comes first, the Voodoo name comes second, and their 30' monitors come last. And tell your readers that too, because some of them hardly believe you any more.

Malsum said...

As another Calgarian, who has pride in all things Calgary, I disagree with what the guy above has said. I think that he is jealous of the fact that Voodoo is off to something bigger and better. In fact I may think he is gay, why would he not want to see you with girls...

JMke said...

What game were you running? I hope it was www.liveforspeed.net , otherwise you might be a bit off with the whole "blew away any of the so-called simulators on the floor to no end" comment ;)

that steering wheel, Logitech Driving Force Pro? Isn't there a new G25 (or something) from Logitech out with metal pedals and such? :)

S said...

I think you are still honeymooning. Remember, in a marriage, you need to give up something to get something, always.

I sincerely hope Voodoo PC will be same or better than what it is, two years from now.

jorge said...

Why would I not want to see a bunch of girls? Simple, because it's a tactic that beer commercials and sporting events employ. It reinforces that women are nothing but a bunch of meat flipping around hula hoops. Fantastic for society.

And not to mention a great way to strengthen your brand image. Pretty soon we'll all drool when we hear the word "Voodoo" because we'll be thinking of boobies.

Might as well throw in a free Voodoo machine with every case of Kokanee so after the football game, people everywhere in their trailers can go on the internet and see when the next monster truck rally starts.

And hey, while you were busy watching the women, did you notice that Voodoo got bought out? Did you forget that revenue created by Voodoo is quickly ushered off to HP's headquarters?

I'm being overly critical maybe, but HP is steering Voodoo in a trashy direction. Neither Voodoo nor HP is about trash - but together they're making Voodoo look cheap and tawdry. And again, at whose brand expense? Not HP's.

You can argue if you want, but you know I'm right. I WANT to see Voodoo succeed, and crap like what happened at the CES isn't going to help at all.

Rahul Sood said...

Jorge, I think you missed the point (way missed the point). Our marketing team organized this together -- HP didn't make these decisions, and in fact if you know HP you'd know that they are notoriously conservative. This should be a testament to the fact that HP is letting us do our own thing.

This is a first for them, and old hat to us. Like it or leave it, our customers and partners thought it was an awesome show - and it wasn't all about girls, it just so happens these are the pictures I posted. I will post more later.

Did you forget that revenue created by Voodoo is quickly ushered off to HP's headquarters?

What's your point?

jorge said...

I guess I was wrong about HP influencing your image. I know that they're conservative themselves and I've only seen edgy, classy marketing from Voodoo itself in the past, so what's changed?

Did you forget that revenue created by Voodoo is quickly ushered off to HP's headquarters?

What's your point?


Do you think it's a good thing for Canadian companies to be sold off to and be controlled by US corporations? Like it or not, HP has the power to kick you and Ravi out (contracts aside), pack up the Voodoo office and ship it off to Guadalajara.

My point is that your selling Voodoo to HP may be good for you personally, which I'm certain is true, but it hardly does anything good for Calgary or Canada.

Now, HP may always keep Voodoo here in Calgary and that'd be good. But HP certainly has no allegiance nor social commitment to Calgary nor Canada in general. HP has to tow the company line, and if that means shipping Voodoo out so be it, they have shareholders to answer to.

Do you not see this as important? You became a man in Calgary, Calgary sustained you while your company grew from nothing to what it is now, your families live here, and providing you have a conscience and emotions, you would see this as something valuable. Or am I wrong?

Your life and business here contributed to Calgary - sure, maybe not a huge bunch, but collectively, companies like yours and mine make this city and our country stronger.

Especially YOU as a person - it was and still is really nice to pick up a CPU magazine and see someone from our little city as a strong player in the industry. You may live here the rest of your life for all I know and still continue to be a figurehead for our community and the industry, and hey, you may do really great things for this city with HP's money, I don't know.

But I DO know that should you have retained full control of Voodoo, you would at least have tempered your decisions with conscience and humanity, something that as a whole HP is not capable of.

Why do I give a hoot and why do I take the time to write these long letters that I know will change nothing?

I don't know. It's like having a good comforting friend of 16 years marry Britney Spears, don a bandana, get tattoos and move off to LA. You're not jealous, but you don't want it to happen. You see things going on that disappoint you and that you don't agree with (and have no business involving yourself with to begin with), but you try relentlessly to show that good friend how they've changed and how you think they should stop before they make a big mistake.

Rahul and Ravi, I think you two made an irrepairable mistake. There is nothing wrong with HP in general and I'm actually excited to see what will happen with you in a new position with the access to tech that you now have. But I've been around long enough and known enough people who gave up their ownership to know that you will more likely than not regret your decision and wish you stood it out alone.

Dismiss what I say if you like. I know that I'm one of the rare few that dare to speak my mind here, but thank you for the opportunity at least. And I truly wish you, Ravi, your employees, and your families the best. I hope I'm wrong on all my predicitons.

Rahul Sood said...

Do you think it's a good thing for Canadian companies to be sold off to and be controlled by US corporations?

Do you think it's good for Canadians to complain everytime this happens? With all due respect, Canada hasn't been much of a supporter for our business to begin with. Revenue Canada is an absolute disaster, and Canadians don't buy VoodooPCs (less than 10% of our overall business is Canadian).

but it hardly does anything good for Calgary or Canada.

Are you kidding me? We are hiring people in Calgary in a big way. We are expanding our facility by 4X over the next year. Before HP acquired us we found it hard to employ people in Calgary due to the fact that everyone wants to drop out of high school and go work on an oil rig. Now we have line-ups of people looking for work because of HP's legendary employee retention. Now tell me how this is bad for Canadians? Last time I checked Calgary was still part of Canada, and the people living here are indeed Canadians.

But HP certainly has no allegiance nor social commitment to Calgary nor Canada in general.

...and believe me, neither do I. I was contemplating moving, if it weren't for my children's school I would be out of here. Our government has been more of a hinderance than a help to our business if you can believe it.

You became a man in Calgary, Calgary sustained you while your company grew from nothing to what it is now, your families live here, and providing you have a conscience and emotions, you would see this as something valuable. Or am I wrong?

I sustained myself, Calgary or not. Calgary is a great place, Alberta is a great place - but the penalties of living in Canada are unbelievable.

You may live here the rest of your life for all I know and still continue to be a figurehead for our community and the industry, and hey, you may do really great things for this city with HP's money, I don't know.

I have every intention of staying here, and remaining a part of the tech scene. I believe this deal was great for Calgary, and even better for Canadians in general.

I hope I'm wrong on all my predicitons.

Well, your heart is in the right place, and that makes you alright in my books - but I think your predictions and view of Canada are slightly off. In any case, good luck to you - and thanks for taking the time to visit and write!

Deep Thought 86 said...

Do you think it's good for Canadians to complain everytime this happens? With all due respect, Canada hasn't been much of a supporter for our business to begin with. Revenue Canada is an absolute disaster, and Canadians don't buy VoodooPCs (less than 10% of our overall business is Canadian).

Dude, tell me about it. I own a small company selling personalized items (non-tech) through a website and am based in Toronto. About 2% of our sales come from Canadians, 90% from the US and the remainder from Britain. We're very small (2 people), and garbage like the GST drives me nuts, who has time to worry about the extra paperwork. I've often thought of refusing to sell to Canadians actually. And then add in Canada Post, which has exorbitantly high rates to ship to the US, and is SLOW and unreliable. Instead of thinking of themselves as an enabler of Canadian exporters they try and nickel and dime customers at every step. And their online shipping solutions site is so badly done it's faster for me to drive to the local postoffice than to use it. And did you know about the stupid brokerage fees if I order supplies from the US? Arrrgh.

About the only reason I haven't packed up and moved the business to the US is I don't want my tax dollars going to support their genocidal wars against all and sundry

Anonymous said...

OMG I think I swallowed some puke. Rahul I am suprised you would even want to post this guy in a blog about something completely different. Yes they are interesting topics for another blog but come on. I was just forced to read about 10 paragraphs of complete nonsense. I am canadian but I am not a complete idiot! That was insulting and degrading and he should be ashamed to even begin to judge who you are and where you live. Its people like that who have given Calgary the bad name it has by forcing to live a bs idiology of what they think Canada is (ring a bell?....Klien).

I don't care where you live or what you do in your personal life. I just want one of your computers. So...bring on those pictures!

P.S. I just got banned from posting on Engadget for trashing their lousy reporting of CES. They didn't even take a picture of your setup or anything really important just to make it look bad...god I hate fanboys.

jorge said...

First of all, you weren't forced to read anything.

Second of all, maybe I sound like a windbag idiot, but at the very least I care about things beyond my own interests. I happen to like Calgary and want for a better community. And maybe I'm an idiot, but I tend to think better of women than something to be stuck to a pole and paraded around like an object. What's wrong with that?

Third, Canada is a great place to do business - in general it's better than most other countries including the US (depending on your industry, naturally). I could make a long long list about why it's feasible to do business here, but this blog isn't about that. But get yourself an accountant and a customs broker and you're set.

And last but not least, my posts were definitely relevant to what just happened at CES - I think the representative photos that Rahul posted were trashy and something that a company with poor products shows off. Voodoo is neither trashy nor has poor products.

Malsum said...

Voodoo makes an excellent product, they always have and always will. CES is about showing whats new and exciting that is just coming over the hill.

Calgary, is a great place, I grew up there and I will always love going back. Voodoo is a part of Calgary, just like the Flames, Stampede, etc, etc. At first I was hesitant about the HP deal, but I am coming around to believe that it is going to be something great for Voodoo.

Lets not forget CES is in Las Vegas, and an integral part of the Las Vegas scene is women, all kinds of women, thats what you see when yo go there, there is no getting around it. Now Voodoo having used some in their display is nothing new to the convention seen in Vegas.

Anosh said...

I just read the article and all comments so far and I find it all very interesting since I'm nowhere near US or Canada.

But I think I'm not the only one when I say we should all wait for upcoming Voodoo products before we start judging and argumenting whether or not Rahul and Ravi's decision was the correct one.

Just a side note: I had to buy a Dell XPS for my highend pc cause Voodoo (nor Alienware, before they were bought by Dell) ship to Scandinavia. Of course I never knew how locked-down the XPS would be. Next time I'll assemble my own or buy from someone using retail parts.