Nearly every important wave of invention in consumer products could be marked or explained by the moment we all stopped worrying about something, and started worrying about something else.
Horses are slow and stinky. We get cars. We worry about safety. We wonder if we have enough fuel to make the trip. And geez, what kind of impact will this fuel have on our planet?
Washing clothes was an incredibly arduous & time consuming task. We get automated washing machines/dryers. We begin worrying about which of the 85 settings is right for your garments. Did you remember to pick up the detergent on your way home? Will this thing buzz and wake your newborn child?
I could go on forever.
Consumer product companies have been inventing amazing products that seem to simplify the world around us for centuries.
There is a hidden consequence of all of this invention:
The more things you have — the more things you have to think about.
Is it working? Does it have enough supplies? Is it on or off? Did you leave directions on how to use it for the guests? Is it time to get it serviced? Is it far enough away from the kids? The list goes on. Multiply this list by the dozens (or more) of inventive products you have in your home and you’ve got quite the to-do list.
The first several years of the “internet of things” can best be described as “interesting” and “novel” but certainly not “transformative”.
Nearly every consumer product company has spent a great deal of time and money making their products more expensive and complex so that consumers can monitor and control the state of those products with their smart phones.
Said more simply, we’ve all created products that are 50–100% more expensive than their unconnected alternative for the purpose of turing our phone into a universal remote control. And like most universal remote controls — these products are not the easiest to get setup and running.
Once again, we’ve fallen into the invention trap. New technology is great — but this particular use case has simply given the consumer more things they need to worry about.
Could this be the first wave of consumer product invention in history that doesn’t just give folks different things to worry about — but actually gives them less things to worry about?
The promise of the Internet of Things is a future where buying a new product doesn’t mean adding a series of new tasks to your to do list, but where buying a new product means that you’ll actually be able to spend more time on the things that truly matter: you & your family.
Less things for you to think about, more things that think about you.
At Quirky, we’ve been hard at work for a number of years in the connected universe. For as long as we were accepting / soliciting product ideas in the space, we’ve been receiving phenomenal ideas for home appliances. But something was missing. We didn’t want to fall into the invention trap. Would you really pay *that much more* for a coffee machine just so you could trigger it from your phone?
Today we announce our first Powered by Quirky brand, POPPY. The first in a line of sub-brands that are powered by the ideas of our community members all around the world & focused on mastering the art of a specific category. Some of these brands we’ll own (like POPPY)- and some will be global brands that use our platform as a service (like the ones we’ll begin to announce next week).
POPPY will build beautiful and intelligent appliances that automate the usage and replenishment of some of the most present consumables in your life.
By leveraging Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Service, POPPY’s appliances will make sure that you’re never without your critical consumable products, and that the usage and consumption of critical items such as baby formula are tracked and logged for the purpose of sharing with your pediatrician, etc.
Poppy is the first appliance brand that manufactures products that truly think about you.
Here’s what the IoLTFYtTA future looks like, and how our first three POPPY appliances will play a small part:
We’re truly excited for the future.
Thanks to our three wonderful Inventors & the incredibly talented folks at Amazon for making this all possible: