I just had a phone conversation with Joe, the chocolatier. He really knows his stuff. Joe assured me that the reason that Mike was let go was personality differences rather than the company imploding. It's nice to know that I haven't bought a paperweight. He says that Mike will be replaced. I am very sorry to see Mike go. Without the three thermister upgrades, I don't see the Delta ever working. The Rev X now has those upgrades and the card upgrades. It's a great machine in its class.
I also just had a email from Ian, their GM, who once again says that I can get a full refund so that I can go with Hilliard. What a nice guy! I told him that indeed I would stay with the Rev X, which works, until and unless they do the card upgrades and hardware to the Delta. At this point, I am swamped with orders and need something. When the dust settles, I can decide how I want to grow. I was so looking forward to the new machines. Sigh. I guess I'll have to use with the Rev X.
You see, I understand these situations. Having met and worked with Mike, he was probably being the engineer that he is, worrying more about quality than the niceties of business. Having been a VP of Engineers, a COO and a CEO, and having been an engineer, I can understand what a pain engineers can be with their ideas of quality etc. But, in my day, and even today, it's an attitude I not only understand but appreciate. If an engineer rolls over to meet foolish deadlines and creates a bad product, what do you have? You have a bad product. If you have read the blog, you know what I'm talking about.
It's about confidence. It's about the product. It's about getting it right. It's about the customer. Mike understood that. Joe understands that. I'm sure Mike will find another job and enrich the company he works at. I'm very sorry he no longer works at ChocoVision. They've lost a great resource. Too bad I'm no longer in the industry or I'd hire Mike immediately.
Well, it may be time to start comparing tempering machines. I'd like to get to take a look at the Hilliard show room.
--- Later ---
I just found out that Hilliard doesn't have a show room and are building to spec right now. Building, QA/QE and shipping as fast as they can go. I guess I'll have to see their products at the Philadelphia National Candy, Gift and Gourmet Show.
--- Later Still ---
Well, I talked to Mike and it seems that he was getting along with everyone. It seems that ChocoVision is behind in their Rev 1 and Rev 2 tempering machine orders. Dove chocolate and Hershey's uses them a lot in their satellite stores. They basically laid off the one guy who knew how to improve the Delta and the Rev X in order to hire more assembly people. And we know under the pressure of a big order what happens to quality control. Remember, Mike was the engineer putting the quality into the process and the product.
Ian, the GM, General Manager, is going to get me a Rev X with the three thermister upgrade. We shall see. I'm thinking maybe I should just get my money back and go over to Hilliard because I don't think I'll be getting my machine anytime soon.
Here's an interesting discussion on eGullet.org.
--- Even Later ---
I just talked to Rick and he said he was Mike's replacement. So, I assume he is an engineer and not just an assembler. I believe he even said, "I'm the engineer who is replacing Mike." I'm glad to hear it for two reasons. One is I want my Delta back and the other is I want ChocoVision to succeed. I love their product when it works. The Delta is fantastic.