Whatever her job, Yana Welinder has always had a passion for improving broken experiences. She did this as Product Lead at Wikimedia, she did this as Head of Product at If This Then That, and now she's here as CEO of her own IoT firm, Kraftful.
Here are some of Yana's insights on IoT & startups:
Usability in IoT is broken & someone needed to fix it
Yana was Head of Product at IFTTT & they have an important mission - to make IoT devices interoperable. Yana wanted to solve an even greater pain - how to make them work well at all. She started a company to do this
The IoT space is full of passionate early adopters & moving to the mainstream is hard
Early adopters have very technical needs & want more features. Mainstream users want good quality & ease of use. Early adopters are your biggest champions but you need a plan to scale past them
Fundraising for IoT was hard, even more so because she's a woman
Many investors have been burned by hardware projects and people want to knock you down. Also, not everyone is Adam Neumann - underrepresented founders can barely raise off the back of successes, let alone failures.
It's important to have an eye on product misuse
AirTags have been in the news for stalking, but Apple have at least made an effort to fix that. Not everyone has their resources, but it's important to at least keep an eye on digital rights groups and try to stay clean
The most important thing as a founder is to validate you have an actual problem
Don't just throw yourself into something cool - make sure there's appetite for what you're building, go as lean as possible to start with and leverage No Code tools to help you get started quick