ozarque (ozarque) wrote,

Writing science fiction; interview 3

November 7, 2081

"Interview with Holdyn Callaweigh," conducted by CNN-Prime's Malcolm Ndebe
Retiring CEO of Cyberdragon Inc. has a story to tell


CNN-Prime:
Mr. Callaweigh, what our viewers on "Business Parade" would be most interested in is the history of Cyberdragon Inc., if you're willing to share some of your memories with us now that you're retiring.

Holdyn Callaweigh:
Well, the whole thing was a complete surprise to us. When it started, we were a very succcessful toy company--

CNN-Prime:
Callaweigh Toys.

Callaweigh:
Yes. Not a very original name, but a very successful company. But of course after the cyberdragon thing happened, it wouldn't have made any business sense not to just go with that one product, and then we changed our name. [Laughs] To yet another not very original name, I'm afraid.

CNN-Prime:
So how did the "cyberdragon thing" get started?

Callaweigh:
You'll find this hard to believe, Malcolm .... but the original idea was that the dragons were toys for kids to ride on.

CNN-Prime:
[Pause] That's .... Actually, Mr. Callaweigh, I have to say that that's a bit shocking.

Callaweigh:
It's true, all the same. That was the original concept. And we'd made saddles for them, and bridles, and fancy saddle blankets, and for the top-of-the-line buyers we were planning to offer fancy little stables to put in the back yard. You know the kind of thing.

CNN-Prime:
But how on earth--

Callaweigh:
Well, it was the focus group, you see. We'd tried the cyberdragons on a group of kids, and they loved them; step two was to find out how parents would react, so we tried that. We had a dozen of the dragons in an observation room, and we brought in a dozen adults, and what happened next was beyond belief. We'd told them that the dragons were kids' toys, of course. Standard procedure. But in oh, two minutes flat, every single adult in the room was either sitting there with a dragon in their lap or walking around the room holding a dragon's front paw the way they would have walked around holding a child's hand. With big happy smiles on their faces. We'd never seen anything like it. And we sure as hell couldn't have predicted it.

CNN-Prime:
It just happened spontaneously like that? That's amazing!

Callaweigh:
The eggheads tell us that we had somehow managed to tap into the set of characteristics that turn on all the hardwired parenting instincts in most human beings. You know.... the round face, the big round eyes, the long eyelashes. That kind of thing.

CNN-Prime:
So what did your company do?

Callaweigh:
Hell, we weren't stupid; we went straight back and redesigned the whole project. We had made the dragons sturdy -- and muscular, you know, kind of hard -- so they could handle the wear and tear of having kids riding on them. We went back and made them softer, and lighter, and more ... more cuddly. And of course we re-did their front paws to make them exactly like a little child's hands. And we made little birth certificates for them... And they just took off. We didn't have to do a damn thing to promote them, Malcolm; we just put one ad on the comsets and from then on our only problem was producing enough of them to keep up with the demand. Three weeks into it, we had to set up a separate division just to handle the installment plan orders for people who couldn't afford them otherwise.

CNN-Prime:
And the rest is history!

Callaweigh:
And the rest is history.
Tags: cyberdragons
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