“People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It.”
Why does Josh.ai exist? Why did we start this company? Recently I came across an old TED talk by Simon Sinek who’s infamous for asking, “What’s your why?” It’s a marketing exercise I’ve long agreed with. In the past I’ve worked on biomedical applications, electric cars, and space exploration projects. So why home automation? Why is this our calling?
1. By the numbers
Let’s start with some basic figures. In the US there are 124.6 million households. That’s for a population of 323 million. We spend approximately 1/3 of our time at home. By 2020 Gartner predicts the IoT market will be 20.8 billion things, with the Smart Home market reaching almost $60 billion. That’s huge. Yet technology for the average home hasn’t changed in decades. For the average home owner, if you leave for vacation with the garage door open, a running sink, or a light on, you’ll be in for a rude awakening when you get home and see your next bill. If you consider the shift from the flip phone to the smart phone, we envision the same happening at home.
With the rapid growth and reach of this market, the ability to introduce technology in new and innovate ways, and a focus on making peoples lives better, this is an incredibly attractive space. As Steve Jobs said, we see an opportunity to put a dent in the universe.
2. Right place right time
We’ve been focusing on the U.S. market because it’s truly the right place and this is the right time to bring these innovations to fruition. 10 years ago we didn’t have the right bandwidth, IP enabled devices, or inexpensive hardware. Today all that is changing. You can buy brilliant connected cameras, speakers, and lights for drastically dropping prices in a market where availability is as simple as going to your local Target, Best Buy, or Home Depot. More so, the technology needed to really transform the home is rooted in software, machine learning algorithms, and artificial intelligence. A few years ago it would have been inconceivable to accurately talk to your phone, today it’s tough finding a phone without this capability. Bringing technology into the home requires natural user interfaces and easy installation, capabilities we’re only now seeing possible. This is the golden age of home automation technology and before long the opportunity will become a truly global one.
Tim and I co-founded this company after many years of getting to know each other. He has a deep passion for math and computer programming. He had been building the underlying Josh language as a personal endeavor before we started the company. On the other side, I am deeply motivated by beautiful user experiences that transform how we interact both with technology as well as the world around us. We’ve both dabbled personally in our own homes and have countless friends both excited as well as frustrated with the current offerings. Coupling voice control and artificial intelligence only makes this ever more exciting for us. At the end of the day, Josh is something we both want for ourselves as well as for humanity and we believe we have the right backgrounds to make this happen.
We’re passionate about this space and we believe this is the right time to bring AI and automation to the home, in a meaningful way, that transforms how the majority of us spend a good portion of our time. We believe through artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things we can introduce a revolution product that inspires, simplifies, and delights our customers. We’re not the first to try, and there’s certainly fierce competition, but we believe we have a unique perspective and approach on a very important industry.
So what’s your why?
This was written by Alex Capecelatro, Co-Founder & CEO of JStar. Previously, Alex was a research scientist for NASA, Sandia National Lab, and the NRL. Before that, Alex worked at Fisker Automotive and founded At The Pool and Yeti. Alex has an engineering degree from UCLA, lives in LA, and likes to tweet about AI, Startups, and Design.