Ecobee CEO and Founder speaks to TechCrunch stay about CES, Nest, and discovering product market match • TechCrunch

TechCrunch stay hosted a particular, in-particular person event at CES that consists of a protracted dialog with Ecobee CEO and founder Stuart Lombard. This was our first in-particular person TechCrunch stay, and that i can’t wait to do extra. We talked about tons — how a startup can maximize CES, construct nice merchandise, and the strategy hardware startups can elevating money.

Nest loomed massive over a factor of this interview. whereas Lombard and Ecobee declare to have produced the fundamental internet-linked thermostat, Nest, launched 4 years after Ecobee, outlined the customary. After Nest burst from stealth in 2011, it compelled Ecobee to retool its clever thermostat. As Lombard admits, Nest modified the trajectory of Ecobee. “[The Nest thermostat] taught us the distinction between desirous to be good and actually being good,” he acknowledged, including later, “It actually compelled us to retool and take into consideration what it means to be good.”

And the early Ecobee merchandise weren’t good. “We made a quantity of compromises alongside the biggest strategy,” Lombard acknowledged, displaying off Ecobee’s first product to the TechCrunch stay cameras. The variations between the fundamental Ecobee and the fundamental Nest are placing: the place the Nest is constructed out of smooth metallic and shiny glass, the Ecobee is all plastic. constructive, it labored effectively however it certainly lacked the identical attraction as a outcome of the fundamental Nest. He says, briefly, as a startup, clients should love your group and merchandise.

I hear this sentiment tons on TechCrunch stay. good merchandise enjoyment of stunning methods. the place the Ecobee supplied comparable performance, Lombard admits it wasn’t till the Nest hit the market that Ecobee developed a world-class person expertise and design.

I hope you’ll possibly take the time and watch the current. It’s embedded under, and it’s a should-hear for hardware startups. notion me, that is little doubt extreme-of-the-line TechCrunch stay occasions.

Watch your whole current proper right here.

current outline


  • What’s it like for a hardware startup to be at CES?
  • What ought to a hardware startup intention to carry out CES?

Founding Ecobee: growing a market part and competing in opposition to Nest:

  • How can a household purpose flip proper into a agency?
  • How does Stuart really feel Nest modified Ecobee, and the strategy can founders biggest make the most of opponents, particularly in advertising?
  • What does it really feel like when your group lastly finds product market match?

How Ecobee continues to be worthwhile:

  • Why is it laborious for hardware corporations to enhance capital?
  • Why Ecobee took a vital funding from Amazon, and what suggestion does Stuart have for founders talking to Amazon?
  • How does Ecobee sustain with altering shopper expectations?

Fundraising for hardware

  • Why Stuart advises startups to take a have a look at their buyer guidelines for funding alternatives.
  • Why a agency ought to intention for longevity in fundraising
  • Why the easiest time to pitch a VC is earlier than you’ll possibly have something to promote.
  • Why Ecobee tried to go public by means of a SPAC in 2020.


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