“I don’t need this product,” he said, interrupting me right after I started my presentation of Allchemist.net. “I have everything I need right here.” He pointed his finger to his head. “I have very good connections with my suppliers, and I get all the support that I need.”
This was the first response from a very good friend of mine, who has been developing coatings all his life. He’s extremely smart and also extremely impatient.
Like all prodigious formulators, he keeps all the information in his head and has trouble sharing it with his teammates. It seems that he wants to do everything by himself.
He’s not selfish or self-centered. He’s like many other geniuses, who can do it all alone, but might have trouble explaining the process to others. He’s too caught up in his own ideas inside his head he has a hard time recognizing where there might be some room for improvement that would benefit the whole team.
I asked him to give me a couple of minutes to show him the application and, afterward, I promised not to bother him again, if he decided it wasn’t for him. It turns out he wanted me to keep bothering him…
“You’re saying that I could search for binders by NCO percentage, viscosity, HEW, EEW and other parameters!?”
“You’re saying that I don’t have to read through all those technical data sheets to get this information!?”
“You’re saying that I don’t need to keep all this information in my head!?”
“You’re saying that my teammates can use it as well?”
These were some of his responses, when I showed him the Allchemist.net search engine. But this was just a warm-up.
One of the most unique features of Allchemist.net is the mixer. Chemists love it. The mixer is a tool inside the application where you can mix raw materials, drawn directly from a database that we constantly fill in and keep up-to-date, so you don’t have to.
The mixer calculates the basic parameters of the formulation (like density, VOC, solids, etc.) as you add ingredients. It supports team work and the exchange of data among team members.
When I showed him the mixer, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He told me he had created a spreadsheet on his own to help him calculate basic parameters for the formulations he makes. He also admitted that there are a lot of downsides to his system. First, you must enter all the data manually by yourself, so it’s hard to keep track of numerous formulation files. Also, the risk of sharing the files is too big, because you never know where these files could end up.
In his view, Allchemist.net was a big step forward, a far better solution.
He liked the feature, which enables him to make a draft formulation of various raw materials, before deciding which samples to order. I really couldn’t get him off the mixer. He was like a kid in a candy store. Or, rather, a chemistry wiz in a virtual laboratory.
I could barely get him to let me finish the presentation.
“There’s more!?” he asked, when I told him about the safety data sheet tool. “Sure,” I said. “I think this might be even more useful for you…”
And the rest is history.