Intrapreneurship, Internal Incubation, Spinoffs, and IoT Product Development

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Many of the world’s greatest innovations emerge from intrapreneurship. Given the space to incubate tangential ideas, employees often create products that become the basis for successful spinoff companies.


In today’s episode, we chat with Bob Marshall and Joe McNulty from Whisker Labs — a company born out of intrapreneurship. Bob is the Founder and CEO and Joe is the SVP of Product and Partnerships.


We discuss:

- The origin story of Ting

- Intrapreneurship and innovating within a company

- Analyzing whether a personal mission has legs as a business

Any questions for our guests? Contact Bob at Bob@whiskerlabs.com and Joe at Joe@whiskerlabs.com.

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And that's that's a problem today witha lot of it devices the fracture between the promise of what it's goingto do for you and the ability of the consumer to adopted in their homeeasily in their home. You are listening to over the air iotconnected devices and the journey brought to you by vary in each episode. We have sharpunfiltered conversations with executives about their iot journeys,the mistakes they made, the lessons they learned and what they wish they'dknown when they started welcome back to over the air itconnected devices in the journey. My name is ryan prosser, ceo very and thisis likwise broke out. Sir barry and today were joined by a bub marshall,founder and ceo of whisker labs and joe mcnulty senior vice president ofproducts and partnerships and we're going to be discussing in tupraniinternal incubation spin offs and it product development bob and joe thanksfor being on the show, hey great to be here: ryan, luke, aisy,so bob you've now founded to detection companies that are designed for what iwould characterize his risk management. Can you walk us through? You know yourstory and where you know you have a obvious passion in this area like giveus a little bit of your background yeah, you know i'm a engineer my background,but i've always been a data guy. So everything i've done in my career isbasically been deploying censors in some form or another and trying to findreally small, tough signals in the noise, and you know i'm one of the cofounders of a company called earth networks, and you know at that firstcompany that i help co found. We we built the world's largest climate andweather networks, and you know we deployed censors that were connected tothe internet all over the world and really that was like io t, but it wasactually before it was even a word to be known, so cool and so take us fromearth networks to take for folks who don't know king basically designed todo one thing and do it extremely well, which is detect presence or thepotential for an electrical fire in a home, is that right can tell us alittle bit more yeah. Definitely so look one of that one of the networksthat we created at earth networks and going back to or networks here was aglobal, lightning detection network. So we had censors literally all over theplanet and they were you know, electromagnetic censors, so we actuallysense the pulse of energy that travels across the earth when there's alightning flash and we identified that and then we provided and sold that datato people like nasa and noah, the national football league and everybodythat was really concerned about safety, right safety and operations and- andthat was you know, very sophisticated censors that were deployed and wecollected massive amounts of data in the cloud to do that. And you know itreally was a you know the catalyst for the the new company whisker labs was,you know, unfortunately, a catastrophic...

...event at my sister in law's house. Soyou know she experienced an electrical fire. It was a devastating fire,unfortunately lost a pet. Fortunately none of the family died, but it was atotal loss and- and you know i didn't know anything about electrical fires atthat time. You know i gonow quickly looked into them a little bit and yousee that they start by tiny arts or sparks that happen, sometimes they'revery insidious. They can be inside of the walls. It's a loose connection or adamaged wire turned out to be a cord in the basement. Underneath the couch youknow in her house, and these things start out very, very small. You knowonce you have a damaged wire, loose connection, it can only get worse overtime and eventually it can start an electrical fire and they're the worstfires that impact homes- and you know so that you know my instinct was well.Can we solve that problem? We've got the best electromagnetic engineers onthe planet. We are detecting sparks in the sky, you know all over the worldand an arch and a spark in the sky is in many ways very similar to whathappens when electrical fire starts in the home, but they're tiny, tiny, muchsmaller orders of magnitude different in size. So i challenged our team tosay: can we leverage all of our experience in technology from thelightning detection that work and solve this problem? What are the things that like strikes me about king? Is you, like, i said kind of at thebeginning of questions you guys are solving a very specific thing, justsort of the hallmark of l, of successful technology companies. Theyfocus on doing a thing, and do it really well, you guys have nailed that,but talk about like. I know that you have an affinity for solving hardproblems looking around until you've found an engineering problem. That'sreally difficult, it's worth being solved, but you also have you know kindof a culture for kiss so keep it simple stupid. How do you guys think aboutthis? These maybe seemingly conflicting ideas of like elegance and simplicityand product development, while also looking for hard complex problems yeah,you know, we've always tried to do things that have never been done beforeat some level. Right and they've never been done before, because they'rereally really hard at some level, and and so we try to solve very hardproblems. You know from a business perspective, you know if you can, ifyou can solve something that nobody saw before. Obviously it's pretty hard, andif you can do that, then you're building yourself, a mote right, i meanthat is difficult for somebody to replicate it. So it's always nice tohave you know core technology that is super hard to replicate right andthat's what we did it or its networks, and certainly even by a long shot.That's what we've done with king, because you know that problem and itagain we incubated inside of earth networks. I kind of stole the bestengineers that we had and we incubated the effort inside of earth networks,and it took us the better part of two or three years i mean it looked like itwas on the wrong side of impossible to actually find these tiny, tiny littlespark signals in a sea of noise. I mean...

...everything in your home is producingnoise and putting it on your electrical lines, and we had to find these tinytiny signals and it was, it was just it really looked impossible. We finallyhad a urique moment thanksgiving one o your remember that weekend saying oh,my gosh, i think we've done it we've solved. You know we think we can findthat signal in the noise and then it was you know. Then then youreally, you know we knew the problem was big. We knew we had a core piece oftechnology that we thought we could work, but then it was really. How doyou make it simple right? I mean i am a huge believer in that you can't haveparticularly for something that's going to be for consumers. It's got to bereally really simple. It's got to be di y. There can't be maintenance involved,it's got to be elegant, you know. In the end, we just came up with a plugright. It did you in the end, the product is very straightforward. It'sjust a plug. It's a super smart plug. You plug it in you connected to wifeand we sampled, the electricity thirty million times a second and send a bunchof datu to the cloud and do machine learning and all that good stuff thatyou know we want to do in the it space, but it was a super hard problem and andwe needed and the hard part was actually making it do it with onesingle plug to monitor the whole house and make it simple and elegant that way.One of the things that that joe shared in the in the parian review that ithought was interesting. You know, i think, maybe at at a further upstreammoment in your product development timeline, and maybe i'm like notcapturing this anecdote exactly right but like there was a more complicatedversion of the product that solved it. But you said: look this isn't going totechnically solves the problem, but this is not going to work for the forthe for the customers and the customer base that were cultivating. Can youtalk about that? A little bit sure i can? Ah, i can do that. I mean and yourclose ryan. I mean at the end of the day we first developed the censor thatyou know we thought well if we're on the main panel were closest to all theall the wires in the home right. Every wire is connected at your main panel.If we can get a censor on there, it might be a little easier to monitor thewhole house and it was just fraught with problems. Unfortunately, it wasn'tdi y and there's you know, there's a percentage of homes that don't havewifie down at the panel. Sometimes there's not even power at the panelright there's, not a plug to plug something in it's terrible, and forthat those reasons in a couple more even after we know, we had invested alot of time and a lot of money in that the version of that censor- and youknow just the conclusion- was that that's just not going to scale it's noteasy enough. We need to make it easier and simpler for the consumer andultimately, we were able to make it work with just a plug, and that'sthat's a problem today with a lot of iot devices. The fracture between thepromise of what it's going to do for you and the ability of the consumer toadopt it in their home easily in their home right. So bob to your credit, yousaw that fracture early on and said this is not going to do that. We werenot going to be serving our customers. Well think you noticed that a lot,especially as you kind of pointed to...

...point out earlier, the consuder facingproducts there's a lot of complexity that goes into making hard thingsreally easy to use. I got to think about it like if you pull out your eyeto you like within, like two clicks, the thing is connected, updated andworking as a phone. That is a very entrail thing, and so is this. You takesomething as hard to do as detecting micro, arcane, on a complicating grape.It tons of noise on it and all you got to do is plug the sing under the wall,and my s going to tell you if you have a risk and it's a really elegant,really coinsi yeah. I did definitely it's you know. It's definitely wasn'tfor the faint of heart i mean it did you know, we've put a lot of money.It's you know it's just tens and tens of millions of dollars that have goneinto making that thing work right. So it's a big investment is a lot of time.You know, and you know, but once you get there right, i think you know we'resolving an important problem. You know it's fifty sand homes a year that areimpacted by electrical fires in the worst fires, its billions of losses,thousands of lives that are impacted by these things- and you know- and it's aglobal problem too. So we you know, we know, we've got something that can youknow you got to solve a problem right at the end of the day, you got to solvesomething, that's important, you know and that's what you need to have a goodbusiness, that's right, yeah! So the next topic that i wanted to bring up. Ithink people that there's going to be a good portion of folks at home. Thatwill. This topic is going to resonate the interesting interested interestingto them. Intrepreter ship, you know so this this spun out of earth networksand i think, there's probably a lot of folks out there that are at largercompanies, running initiatives and they're wondering things like how do iknow if my initiative is right to be spun out? How do you innovate within acompany? That's doing maybe a tangentially different thing. So, likelightning detection to you know home electrical fire. Obviously i don't knowthat's a tangential technology in my mind, related for sure, but likeobviously it was different enough that you guys felt like it made sense tospin it off. What can you talk about that? That journey from you guys isperspective and maybe also share some anecdotes for that entrepreneur outthere? That's listening! That's innovating within a company questionsthat maybe you wish you had had answers to prior or things you wish ye'd know thenyeah. You know and i think in many cases it's going to be somewhat uniqueto the company that you're originating in. But in our case you know, orthnetworks had grown over many years to be a you know: midside company right. We had twohundred hundred and fifty people and and the business had grown and and wasrelatively stable and profitable and all that stuff, and then you know thisopportunity came along to to leverage some core. I p and core expertise thatwe had and apply it to a different problem, and you know we were fortunateenough to be able to invest a lot of money out of the earth networks. Youknow and and invest in it inside of that company, and it was a skunk worksincubation right i mean we, we kind of literally courting ourselves off fromeverybody. We did nothing else but see if we could solve this problem and wehad the luxury to do that once we and again, we made sure that there was anopportunity there to right. First, i...

...mean you know before we actually spentmoney. Don't want to solve a problem just to solve a problem. Minit. Isthere a business opportunity there? Is it going to be something that peoplecare about and that that was actually easy? I mean that you know there'sfifty sand, it's billions of dollars right and there's a lot of people thatwould like to solve. This problem is particles ciall the insurance companies,so so that was pretty easy and then that it was a matter of does this fitwithin the original company with networksright, it's a new product. It's a new market, it's a completely differentbusiness model and then we needed to actually you know. Even though we hadsolved the core technical problem, it wasn't a product yet so we still needto to invest a lot of money in it to bring it to market, and you know wherewe going to raise capital inside of earth networks and what would thatthesis, jist didn't fit and the capital structure of earth networks, and so wesaid the only way to actually invest in it appropriately would be to spin itout as its own entity. Then we could raise capital on this. One idea right.This is a different idea. It's a new business and we could focus the capitalwould understand it that we're going to focus we're going to develop thisproduct, we're going to make this happen, and that would have beendifficult to do or probably impossible to do inside of earth network. So wedecided to spin it out and that wasn't that's that's a pretty significanteffort to right. It's been out the legal work and everything else was notinsignificant, but definitely i think in the end, the right thing to do ifyou were sitting down for a beer with somebody that was thinking aboutspinning out. What's like what are two or three questions, you would ask thembefore you know you felt like you could advise them like what are two or threekey things. They should be thinking about or you'd be looking at to assesswhether or not it made sense or if it did make sense how to best move forward.You know, i think one of the customers. The same right is the business model.Similar. Are you selling to the same people as it? Is it going to be asimilar business to operate, and you know if it is, then maybe it belongsinside of that company? So i think that that's certainly there and then that'snumber one and then number two. I think it really comes down to you know thethe level of investment in the structure of the potential investmentthat you need to make i mean: are you going to be able to raise capitalenough and adequately to fund it inside of the existing company, or is itbetter spun out into a new company, and then you have to look all the way downthe road to the potential exit to right i mean who are the potential you knowwhere's the company can end up. Where are you going to end up being a publiccompany? You can end up being acquired by somebody and does it make sense tobe inside of the original company or is it better? You can to get a betteroutcome. If you have a company that is very, very focused on doing somethingwell and bob, i might add, from a human capital perspective right. We talkedabout it before you said you stole employees. I might argue that they camealong willingly, not only that they raised her hand said this is a reallybig problem and this is really meaningful and i want to come alongright did great stuff, it weren't networks, but i'm going to move out andi want to come whisper labs, no y, you...

...know, look, i think, stanard chiefscientist story, i mean span r heckman from m. I t i mean he was literally theworld's leading lightning expert. I mean he's known across the world as theguy that knows more about lightening than anything, and i think it was noteven a remotely difficult decision for him he's like. I think i can have abigger impact on the world by coming to wister labs and solving this problem.It's going to have an impact of more positive impact on more people thanthan earth networks. It's interesting even though your company or networkswas successful and afford you the opportunity to be able to invest peoplein time and somebody to get this thing to a certain point where you kind ofderest ed enough to want to spit out of a company. I worked on a couple ofbattery cemetry technologies which are just wold. You know notable for howhard they are to solve and how it's very hard to plan invention and i andin elector chemistry, were up. You kind of have to do that and i'm wonderingdid you feel by the time you decided to fitness out as a company, you think youwere going to have to invent a thing like if this was a solvable problem isjust a really a fare problem at you have to invent a dissolution to to getthem yeah. We had to get it to the point that we were confident that wecould build a product right. I mean we, you know we had to find. You know. Thehardest part was just finding the signal and the noise i mean you know,and that was youall lab work. I mean we're literally working at each other'shomes and creating sparks and get censors all over the place, and youknow doing the whole thing like you're in the garage right and then you knowonce we once we actually proved it and convinced ourselves that, yes, we canfind that signal. We know how to find that signal. You know, then we couldproduce a product and that's what it makes sense to think about spinning itout one of the things that we do at very isyou know, and we make a lot of investments in technology companies andoften that investment will be not just cash, but we will, you know, placepeople into that project on you know i long term or indefinite basis. It coulda sort of an inkiness if you will and that creates that keeps our kind ofleadership ranks moving along because, like there's, not this issue where atthe top there's nowhere to go so, therefore, there's no for the middlefolks to go and so forth. What was there any sort of effect like thatearth networks like when you brought people over? Did you guys findexpectedly or unexpectedly, that that created some dynamic changes in over atearth networks in terms of presenting new opportunities, because other folkshad a chance to jump over on to this new venture? Where there is there anylike team dynamics, surprising more otherwise that you can share? Well, imean there's definitely a couple that is cases i mean a couple key folks thatthat are at earth networks had kind of reached, a level that that you know you know was there how much opportunitywas there for them? But you know when they came over here. You know they'rethey're, now key senior people right on this team and it you know it's adifferent culturally, it has to be...

...somebody. You know that was willing totake a risk. To i mean right: we if we didn't shut down that original piece ofhardware and product and we should have failed. I mean you know, and youabsolutely have a absolute chance you're going to fail and this companyis going to go away right as soon as we untethered ourselves and we're on ourown. I mean your job. Is at risk right if we're either going to sink or swim,and you know fortunately so far, we've been able to swim pretty well, butthat's not guaranteed right right, so so thinking about like sin versus swimor that risk reward kind of thought process when you were when you guyswere preparing to take that leave what technical challenge or non technicalchallenge were you most nervous about, and you were like this is the tallbuilding that we've got to be able to leave. If we're going to be successful,can talk about what that thing, or things might have been yeah. You know it's interesting in oneof the things where you know very good at is just gigantic data. We did thatat earth that work, so that was never a concern. For me, i mean we collectterribiles of data per day coming off his censors all over the place. Thatwas fine. It was just really that that these tiny signals right i mean thisproduct- is a life safety product right, so we are as we look at it. We are soall super passionate internally. We are responsible for protecting ourcustomers and their families and their homes. I mean that we we carry that asa great responsibility and ensuring that that works in almost all cases isa big. You know huge deal and and not easy and and in fact i always make sureto say i mean we cannot and will not prevent every electrical fire, eventhough, essentially, we've done that so far, you know no product is perfect andyou know we're responsible. So every day we worry about, can we keep pushingthe machine learning algorithms, the signal processing algorithm on a censorto get to that next level. Eak out a little bit more signal to noise, giveourselves a better chance to make sure we detect these little tiny problemsthat cause these horribble fires and also do it. You know the other side ofthat is is do it without false alarms too i mean you can't can't try a wolfand tell a home under that they have a electrical fire hazard if you're, notright. So for so far, we've been right every time too. So it's really thosetwo things. It's you have to detect the problems, not cause false alarms. I cansee he a tip being very expensive of all of the sudden people start showingup and ripping open walls halser installed in to so yeah. Thatcould be a one and were responsible. We send in the electricians that beyond usright, i d be a horrible experience. I mean an that was actually our. You know,you know number one worry actually, once we could felt comfortable, wecould detect the signal that we're looking for how many times are we goingto think there's a problem and there's not i mean that that was actually thebiggest worry up front once we could detect the signal and then but that hasturned out to be not a problem. I think our you know. Fortunately, the machinelearning does a great job there of distinguishing. You know normal stuff,because there's arching that happens in the home. That's normal right all thetime and you know, but we can figure...

...that out. One are the things that's reallyinteresting about king is, you know, because of the nature of fire, likeyour house is on fire that you know it brings risk to yourneighbors and your neighborhood and the sort of the nature of fire. So like themore things that are out there, the safe for everyone is, you know so likethere's a a share, and i use the analogy of the key chain guys, what'stheir name luke, that apple is currently about to eattheir lunch tile, and so you know, you've got this tile app and it's greatfor finding your phone and but like your phone, is also helping find otherpeople's tiles. You've got this network effect, the more users there are themore valuable it is for everyone ce talk about. I think a lot of people outthere are listening and they are thinking hey. My product has networkeffects. I think people underestimate how hard it is to get to a place forthat network effects becomes valuable and not all strategies are the same.Can you talk about like tings kind of thoughts on network effects and how youguys have gone about trying to achieve success there? Yeah i mean, i think,there's two there's in network effected me is gigantic. I mean i am like a huge,huge believer in overwhelming problems with data i mean and and having youknow, millions and millions of censors right. Let's not literally the value ofthe network grows up with the square of the number of censors in the network.Right, it's exponential, and you know i think in our case there's networkeffects on the technology side and the data side, and then there's network iseffects on the business side in the marketing side. So, on the technologyside, you know one ting, a single ting protects a single home and preventselectrical fires, but as soon as the community has a network of tings, wesee incredible detail on the electric utility grid, so we are detectingfaults every single day, all over the country that are really bad power,quality problems and in the e in the western states. These are the faultsthat cause some of these devastating wildfires that we've all heard about incalifornia and all the western states. So we quite literally have theopportunity to detect these faults in very early stages, with our network oftings, notify the utilities and allow give them the information they need toget technicians out and prevent these things from happening in meany. Thinkabout that i mean these. Some of these fires like the camp fire and paradise.California, right i mean that's, it was it was unbelievable right the damage itwas like twenty billion dollars that one fire and like a thousand people-and it was like the worst ever right- and it was a utility fault. That wasthe case for that, and you know so we're going to you know we are seeingincredible high resolution data, early detection of faults on the grid, andyou know the utilities are going to be...

...customers because they, you know, wehave valuable information for them and they need to have it. They need to havethat information. They don't have it today and they benefit from the networkof things. I think the totes, all those can't not be customers, i it's likereckless and from what you're responsible to not be a customer ofthat kind of data accessibility. I think that's! That's! That's reallyright! Look in the end because it's they, you know it's a network that isjust growing on its own right. I mean the network at every thing that comesto the network. The machine learning gets better. The the monitoring thegrit gets better. It's happening without any input from you know theutilities, because you know our primary customer. The insurance company statefarm insurances are lead cut, you know, lead customer and there they'll giveaway a tang to any customer that wants it, knowing that it's going to helpprevent electrical fliers, but then it's also going to contribute to themonitoring of the grin feeding the feeding on that thread and then maybe,following up a little bit on apples, more recent efforts to make s youropting in to having your data tract and your data share, and i wonder, have youseen any issues of that with your customers, their willingness to be ableto share their data and and how to have these that they bought of that wholesale, because it's obviously good for everybody or is there been any pushback on? That really has not been any push back. It's a great question. Imean it's because obviously everybody's sensitive to privacy and privacy is ahuge deal to us. I mean so i mean first and foremost, i mean the nice, the nicething about this product. You know, unlike some others right is i mean,there's no camera, there's no microphone i mean all we do is justmonitor the voltage, so we don't even now how much energy use and we justmonitor the voltage to detect arcs. So so, there's really nothing sensitive inthat way. You know, but the customers that you know we do provide theinformation to utilities. Right i mean, if you're, if the utility, that servingthe power to your home is sending dangerous power to your home. It's alsoimpacting your neighbors homes right and so, if the neighbors in thecommunity can come together to provide that information to the utility, it'sin everybody's interest. For that right, it's he said the only information wewill share with anyone. No third party distribution of data is to our partnersthat are going to prevent fires at tenthday right. That's the only thingwe do on the the topic of kind of closing gloop on network effects, orgoing back to that briefly, you guys have so we did our original preinterview back in february. It's now june. We pushed it because you guys hadan exciting announcement that you weren't ready to go public with at thattime, can you can you talk about the the state farm partnership? And youknow it's impact on network effects and kind of how they're looking at it?They're not really looking at this is a resell opportunity. They're, seeingthis as an opportunity to prevent home fires, therefore reduce claims, ofcourse, which is fine. Everybody wins in that world. But can you talk aboutthe partnership and how this has come about with some of the goals are yeah.Definitely i mean state farm has been a just a fantastic partner number one...

...they've they jumped on board very earlyon, went through a lot of testing, obviously they're very sensitive toproviding anything to their customers unless they know it absolutely works.So we did, you know just a lot of leg work with them, but at the end of theday, the insurance companies are really undergoing a significant change intheir business. I mean it's there's lots of digital insurance companies.Now not the the you know. The old school companies have been aroundforever and you know the idea that that the insurance company is just going topay you after you've had some catastrophic loss you think about inthe in today's io t world i mean: how does that make any sense right? I meaninsurance companies. Ultimately, the ones that are going to win are the onesthat are going to help their customers and prevent the losses. Right i meandidn't that just make a lot more sense than then you know just waiting tillafter the event i mean: what difference? Does it make whether you get you knowpaid back from state farm or some other customer? I mean some other insurancecompany right prevention is the key to the future of insurance. I think yeahreminds me of i think, ten or fifteen years ago, when they started carinsurance, arms of the insurance companies with those under dash plugins to monitor driving and give discounts to folks that, were you know,doing things the right way you viewed the i take it. You view this is kind ofthe home version of something like that. It is similar, i think, there's acouple o small differences are, but no it is i mean, there's those you knowthe car telemac companies. There is a number of them number one and andthey're very popular and and the customers generally like them. I don'tthink, there's a lot of data to suggest that it actually reduces claims. Youknow it doesn't prevent accidents. People drive the way they're going todrive generally, but you know in our case, we absolutely can prevent thesedevastating losses that families have to go through, and that's just a betterthing right i mean, if go back to a state. Farmservant is like like a goodneighbor state farmers there and in this case, they're literally justtrying to help their customers and they believe strategically that doing theright thing for their customers is going to be good for their business inthe long run, and that makes total sense to me so state farm of course, isfamous for their advertisements. They have a lot of like big names,celebrities that they utilize, whereas you know gyke leans more heavily oncartoon. If you could have you know a beer or glass of whiskey with anycelebrity, you know you re, you hey, you know, take or say for em. You knowtake a look at this guy who out there tvlit do you wish, would be the nextstate farm spokesman that you might have a chance to rub shoulders with youknow what i mean. I think you know it may be one of their existing spokesmen,because aaron rogers, obviously the the quarterback for green bay, is fromcalifornia he's from chico. If i recall, and after that paradise fire, i thinkhe donated you know a significant amount of his own money to help thecommunity there recover. You know, i think he would be somebody that wouldbe a hundred percent behind what the hank we're trying to do, and i thinkit'd be awesome. If he got behind our...

...cause as a couple of boto more n is ireally think we need to give one more jackson an opportunity to a man on thisdiscussion that i'm all for that yeah go rat right. So my last question is around the thepersonal aspect of this story. Your product, i mean at very we're bigfans of what you guys are doing. Are engineers like really hard problems solved with likeelegant solutions, which is, i think, how we would view what you guys havedone too often. What we see is people that come to us with an idea or acompany born out of something personal and they did very often or not good. You know,because they're born out of that personal anecdote, if you were advisingsomebody or to those out there that have an idea or a company born out ofthis personal moment, what are some things to be thinking about to helpthem take a like, objectively, look at this and say: is this legitimatelysomething the world needs yes or no, or is this just you know your cat namedlarry needed this one time you know, but there is no market. How? How areyou thinking about it? How would you encourage others to think about it?When there's this personal aspect, i mean number one. I think the personalaspect is important in many ways and it is kind of something that has now beena lot of success. Tories around that right, and in our case it happened tobe my sister in law's house and and the terrible experience that she had. Sothat really was the catalyst and it really makes you passionate abouttrying to solve a problem when you've gone through something and seeing thefamily go through. Something like that. On the other had side you, then youjust have to be completely dispassionate right on the businessside i mean, is there a business opportunity or not? And in my case iknew nothing about electrical fires, but it only took a few google searchesto see that holy count. These things are bad and there's billions of dollarslost and there's billions of dollars being spent trying to solve thisproblem and nobody solved the problem. So i said you know, so we really didn'tyou know. We definitely did the market research on men, iron and joe's done alot of it too. I mean so we we did that up front to know before we went off andspent millions of dollars trying to solve a problem that that there was a real opportunity, butthe passion you know you know just in terms of art team. Here i would say youknow a lot of our success. I think is just because it's not just me. I thinkthe team just feels an incredible passion around solving this problem andhelping families right, and it's like an incredible high every day that ithappens right when there's a you know, we find a problem, we find it, we fixit and it would have potentially been a devastating fire that cost lives rightso that passion behind that is really. You know, motivates this every singleday, yeah bob. I would. I would also add that you know it wasn't personalfor us right, so we're a little bit...

...separated from that, but it's adifferent type of passion right, so you know the business side. You actuallyhave to have that business had on right. But when you've taken that personalexperience, the advice would be basically when you're talking with someone who'sgot this thing, ani's very personal for them to turn it into something. That'sreally a true north for everybody at the company, but you're actually tryingto solve that for the next person, so you're you're separate yourself alittle bit from the personal experience, but you're also turning that into kindof like your north star right, which is basically how do i do this for the nextperson and not just next person, but for everyone who is concerned aboutthis type of problem. I think the it's personal to a whole lot of people incalifornia. Now i can tell you that i've lived through the past year whenthe whole sky was orange for weeks on at and people can go outside and cobreathe. Schools are closed, like it was a very terrible experience. I thinkthere there's nobody, that's not going to appreciate the benefit and the valueof stuff like this. We appreciate that for sure and that ithas been bad and unfortunate. Looking like another potential bad year, comingup right, you're already in a terrible drought, so yep yeah- and i shared withyou previously, our you know we're having our house redone and ourcontractor raced out of here last friday, because his house was on fire.It was an electrical fire house burned totally to the ground and you know notrelevant to king product and it. But you know it may have prevented that,but once it was under way, you know it was just compounding failures. The firedepartment showed up and they didn't know how to use their to operate. Theydid not know how to operate their own fire truck, and so the house burned tothe ground while the fire department was, you know, trying to get it going, which is just, i think, like acautionary tale, that, like prevention, is so much better than than solving itonce it's under way, because fires are very unpredictable and simply having afire truck show up- or you know catching it early is often not enough hand so yeah. Now that's right and smoke to you know to smoke detectors.Obviously, it is a very important part of any home safety plan and they'reessential. We always make sure all of our customers know that, but they onlytell you that you have a fire after the fact right i mean there's already afire when they're going off. I mean the idea that you can try to prevent someof these things. If you can do it, it's obviously way better than having yoursmoke alarm groff, so we're moving to rap. Here. With this episode, i got twomore questions for a quick ones. Number one, you know you guys are in the itspace were an iot space as you look across the landscape. What product orcompany out there are you seeing that you're fan of somebody that youappreciate their work? You like a particular product that maybe othersdon't know about. What do you see in that you like out there right now? Looki, like the simplicity, you know of the mean of the nest products. I have quitea few nest products in my my home and there they're simple right. They weresimple there in stall and the user experience is great and you know so.You know, even though they've been...

...around a long time right there nothing.I d like a start up anymore, but they still produce good products. Yep agreed,i'm a nest user as well. Well, bob and joe. I really appreciate your time iffolks wanted to be able to reach out after the episode with questions orthumbs up on things they heard here today. How can they find you guys? Yeahobviously hit me up on linked in or bob at whisker, labo fire me an email anytime and joe for the folks at home? How can they find you same thing joe? Atwish, her labescam, you can go to ting fire com as well to check things outand hit me up on linton fire manin, always not what you did there bob?What's that? What's that fire me an email, we saw what you did there old ha all right were playing it toplay us out here today, those at all, thanks for listening bob and joe. Weappreciate your time thanks for coming on the show today, hey ryan loop thanksenjoyed it. Thank you. You shouldn't have to worry about iotprojects dragging on or unreliable vendors. You've got enough on yourplate. The right team of engineers and project managers can change a pivotalmoment for your business into your competitive edge. Various close knitcrew of ambitious problem, solvers, continuous improvers and curiousbuilders know how to turn your ideas into a reality on time and up to yourstandards, with a focus on mitigating risk and maximizing opportunity willhelp you build an io t solution that you can hang your hat on. Let's bringyour iot idea to life, learn more it very possible com. You've been listening to over the airiot connected devices and the journey, if you enjoy to day's episode, makesure to hit subscribe in your favorite podcast player and give us a rating.Have a question or an idea for a future episode. Send it to podcast at verypossible com. See you next time. I.

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