Joined on March 4, 2009
Last Post on April 22, 2014
@ February 9, 2014 4:44 PM in Meet The CozyAnd you know that I love these systems and understand fully how to make them efficient when the folks in the building want to ante up the money, but that often doesn't happen and The Cozy fits into that gap.
I have no problem with the words they're using to describe Steam as the enemy. They are marketing to people who feel that way and I understand marketing very well. That approach is one of the things that had me sitting up straighter in my chair. These guys are coming at this from a different perspective than the one most of us have. They are acknowledging the reality that most apartment dwellers are confused by, frustrated with, and desperate for a solution. They're selling the solution, and that's why this think is going to be huge.
@ February 9, 2014 4:38 PM in Meet The Cozythe tenants will talk to each other and follow the success of the ones who are more comfortable and not opening the windows. People are like that.
@ February 9, 2014 4:36 PM in Meet The CozyBut then I spent some time with Marshall Cox (posting below), who is one of the smartest people I have ever met. I spent a couple of days with him. One of those days was at the Columbia University Lab, where he did his PhD work (electrical engineering). He showed me things that had my head spinning. The Cozy is a minor part of what Marshall has already accomplished in his young life.
I smile a lot and am not easily impressed. Marshall won me over with his thoughts and ideas on where this product could go. I suggested at one point that The Cozy might be able to run on an app. He told me that he had already written the app. This guy is ridiculously smart. Spend a day with him, or just talk to him here on The Wall. Keep your mind open and just listen to what he has to say. He's doing something very unusual here. It addresses a situation we all know well, and it solves a problem that is years and years old.
I wrote this today for the Kickstarter site. It sums up what I'm thinking.I was skeptical at first but I now believe this product is going to be huge. It should be in your bag of tricks.
The Sociology of Steam
I went to college
when I was all grown up and had already been working in the New York heating
industry for a decade. I chose Sociology as my major because that’s what steam
heat is all about. Sure there’s some engineering in there as well and Mother
Nature’s physics, but it’s mostly about people because we live together in
these old buildings where your floor is my ceiling and those steel pipes run like
rusty capillaries throughout the whole place.
And then there are
the radiators. They looked so innocent during the summer when you moved in.
They sat there like old people waiting for a bus. You smiled at them. How
quaint. How old-timey. They looked back at you and they waited.
Then that first
frost arrived and the boiler in the bowels of the basement roared and vomited steam
surging upward and outward and you rushed to control it but the control valve
has arthritis and the radiator is now pounding while the heat is making you
gag. So you open the windows and within days, you’re living on NyQuil and
DayQuil because of that psychotic radiator and that frigid wind rattling your cracked-open
windows. Roast or freeze? That’s your choice. And for this you’re paying how
much per month?
So sociology: You
call the landlord, the management company, or a meeting of the coop board and
they take a survey of the building’s community because that’s what this is – a
community made up of people who are too hot, people who are too cold, and people
who are just right. None of these people want their rent or common charges to
increase. You feel like Goldilocks and if you complain enough, someone in
charge may hire a consultant to look at the problems and the consultant will
explain that the solution is going to cost money. So the folks in charge ponder
this for the rest of the winter and wait for spring to arrive because that will
stop your complaints. In this way, steam heat is a lot like childbirth. Time makes
you forget the pain.
But winter is as
dependable as dawn and before you know it, the same problems are back and that
calls for more meetings. The consultant reissues the same report he wrote last
year and, once again, nothing gets done.
I’ve been watching
this happen since I came into the business in 1970. We share these systems but
can never agree on this thing we call comfort, so we put it off until next
year. And next year is always coming.
In 1992, I wrote and
self-published a book I called, The Lost Art of Steam Heating, which I
thought would be popular in the town of my birth, NYC. The first printing run
was for 5,000 copies and we sold all of those within six months. What
astonished me, though, was that we sold that book in every state
(including Hawaii). Where there are old buildings, there is steam heat. And
sociology. That book continues to sell and sell because the problems with steam
heat are as perennial as winter.
Which brings me to
the Cozy from Radiator Labs. Marshall Cox, the brilliant mind behind this
product, doesn’t know that the proper New York (and every other old city) way
to get things done is to have annual meetings where nothing is decided, interspersed
by trips to CVS for the Nyquil and Dayquil. Oh, and lots of stress. Nope,
Marshall Cox just came up with a product that solves the problem of overheating
and frigid wind roaring through the open windows in the individual apartment.
He has empowered us all by giving us the ability to control our own temperature
in our own spaces, without needing to get permission, without needing to scream
at meetings, and to fix this problem with just a tiny investment. Sure, the
community living in your building still shares the big system of steam heat,
but your Cozy-encased, radiators just got a lot friendlier, and you just got a
lot more comfortable. So skip the meetings and fix it yourself. The Cozy beats
Sociology every time.
This thing works.
So that's what I'm thinking. I want to spend my old-man years with people like Marshall. Keeps the blood pumping.
@ February 9, 2014 1:54 PM in Meet The CozyI'm helping these guys out as an adviser with the launch of this new product:
I was skeptical at first but then met with them and was massively impressed by the brain power. I believe this is the answer to those buildings where fixing the whole system never seems to get done because of the investment. I think The Cozy is going to be a huge success.
@ February 8, 2014 4:08 PM in Back in the StatesThe Lovely Marianne and I have been out to sea for the past week and off-line, which was nice. We're in Florida now and will be down this way (working) for the next couple of weeks. We do stuff like this every February because we are old and in love.
I removed a few threads (and people) that were getting nasty. It's a shame I had to do that but the site works so much better when we all show a bit of humility and kindness toward each other. Rule #1: Be Nice.
Thanks to most of you for taking good care of the place while TLM and I were out being pirates. We met some fascinating people and I even ran into a guy on the ship that I went to high school with. Haven't seen him since 1967. Go figure. He's on Wife #4. (perhaps I should rephrase that).
Anyway, I'm back on the job, but also with my toes in the sand. I get to do that because I'm old and still on Wife #1.
@ February 1, 2014 6:25 AM in Dan HolohanYou sure got my day started right with that story. Thanks!
@ January 31, 2014 4:02 PM in Thanks, Mr. WilkinsonJust got this. What a classy way to say goodbye to a good man who did his best and put a lot of good people to work for many years. Thanks, Mr. Wilkinson:
A celebration to remember the man who started it all...George T. Wilkinson. George passed away on Wednesday
at the age of 91. We were all extremely fortunate to have George in
our lives for as long as we did and we will miss him greatly. In honor
of his life, we hope you will join organization associates and the
Wilkinson Family in an open house at The Wilkinson Companies offices on Tuesday February 4, 2014 from 3pm - 7pm.
There will be plenty of great food and spirits as he wouldn't have
wanted it any other way. Please feel free to stop in and share some of
the stories you may have.
405 VFW Drive
Rockland, MA 02370
@ January 30, 2014 7:08 AM in South CarolinaWe're snow turtles. Driving to Miami to get on a big boat for a week. Then we'll work from down here for most of February. I brought the sloppy weather along because my life isn't exciting enough.
@ January 29, 2014 6:53 PM in South Carolinaeach of these was immediately after a frozen bridge. Portions of clear pavement inspire 75 mph and then comes a sheet of ice. They went by us and nearly blew us off the road. Then we saw them 10 miles later. Horribly sad, and so senseless.
@ January 29, 2014 4:41 PM in South CarolinaWe drove through the ice palace that currently (and oddly) is South Carolina today and saw an amazing amount of twisted tractor trailers on their backs and sides in the woods, on the median, and across the road (thankfully, on the other side). I'll never understand why those folks just won't slow down. This went on for 135 miles.
@ January 27, 2014 8:27 AM in Happy Birthday Dan HolohanCan't seem to get that song out of my head.
@ January 23, 2014 1:30 PM in securityNone of them are stored on this site. When you register to post on the Wall, you're going into the same part of the site that people use to buy things from the Store. Your information then travels to a completely separate site where we store names, email address, and physical addresses. We don't store credit card information. We don't even see that information. The site sends that directly to the bank. All of this is secured and protected by VeriSign and verified by Trust Guard.
This is why, if you want to reach another Wallie privately, you have to click on their name within their post. That request travels through a separate site without revealing the person's email address. The person you're trying to reach will get an automated email, letting him or her know that you'd like to correspond privately. It's then up to the recipient to either respond to or ignore the person.
Click on the Trust Guard button above the banner ads to your right on the Wall's home page to learn more.
If you got hacked, it wasn't from here.
@ January 19, 2014 1:34 PM in Attention DanThe new site will be much easier to use and have a lot of features that I think will delight you. Theosophy who are smarter than I am are spending a lot of time right now working on how to best move the Wall data. As you can imagine, this site is enormous.
@ January 19, 2014 10:51 AM in Attention DanWe're in the planning stage of having the whole site rebuilt with a lot more features I think you'll like. Stay tuned.
@ January 17, 2014 1:33 PM in Nice discount to PMLive at AHR in NYCBig crowd! See you on Wednesday.
@ January 13, 2014 12:36 PM in Nice discount to PMLive at AHR in NYCBig crowd for this one. See you next week!
@ January 7, 2014 10:38 AM in PM LiveSiggy and I are looking forward to seeing lots of you at PM Live during the AHR show. If you haven't gotten your ticket yet, you can a 15% discount by using promo code DANVIP. Here's a link: http://www.heatinghelp.com/seminar/95/DISCOUNT-TICKETS-TO-PM-LIVE-New-York-NY
@ December 31, 2013 11:59 AM in Low heat from hydronic baseboard radiatorsThree separate posts, Ray. Each went up in less than a second without any problems. And I'm posting form an iPad right now. No problem doing the math problems.
@ December 31, 2013 6:14 AM in Low heat from hydronic baseboard radiatorsplease hit Enter just once and be patient. Thanks.