“I’d Like To Be Regarded As Someone Who’s Been Invited In And Is Taking Care Of Their Loved Ones” With Dennis McTighe
I had the pleasure to interview Dennis McTighe. Dennis is the Vice President, Americas Region for Swann. Swann is a global leader in do-it-yourself video surveillance, wire free and wireless connected home / smart home products, consumer electronics and security-centric solutions for homes and businesses. Dennis has extensive experience at creating the strategies, organization and execution plans for a multilevel sales force. He excels at blending company and customer strategies to drive mutually profitable results and is a trusted team leader, technology advocate and product champion. Prior to joining Swann, Dennis served as the VP of Sales at O’Rourke Sales Company and VP of Sales at LG Electronics.
Hi, what is your backstory?
The company was started by a guy named David Swann. He’s from Melbourne, Australia and he started the company in the basement of his family home. He was making modems and connecting people to the internet in the late 80’s. He was just tinkering around in his basement and so many of his friends wanted to get connected to the internet that it became a business. Then his wife kicked him out — not out of her life, but out of the home because the business was getting too big for the basement- so he set up an office in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. It just flourished from there. It started out as a modem manufacturer and they then branched into IT peripherals and products like keyboards, mice, hubs and other devices. Then they moved into palm pilot and other handheld device accessories. Around 1999/2000, he was at an airport and he saw a Sharper Image store. He saw a little camera there and he thought, “well that’s got potential not just to be a gadget but to be more of a home security product that people could buy from retail stores.” He actually pioneered the whole idea of DIY video security through retail channels where it went beyond just being a little gadget or gizmo. He made it into an actual category at retail, and now we are at the point where it is a billion dollar category worldwide and he pioneered it. Even though he started locally, he always had big plans. He always had sort of an eye on taking an idea and selling it to the world. He was brilliant like that, thinking where is there a gap in the market and where can I take this besides here. He always had plans to expand to the US and UK, so he did that straight away. It was pretty much always an international business. In late 2014, he finally retired in his 70s. Swann is now led by our CEO, Mike Lucas, and I serve as the VP of the Americas.
None of us can achieve success without help along the way? Do you have a mentor or person you attribute to helping you and the company grow?
Mr. Michael Lucas is our CEO and he joined the company in November of 2016. He is an Ex- SONY and Nabisco executive amongst other achievements in his career. He’s really been a great visionary in mentoring myself and the team on what the trends are in home security and how Swann can compete and stay current with smart technologies like Amazon, Google Home, or Lowe’s Iris. We need to stay ahead of the trends and he’s been invaluable in leading Swann in that direction.
What’s one of the most interesting things about your company?
Going back in time, it was the fact that there wasn’t a solution that was DIY and affordable. Swann created it and that’s an important point to make. Up to now, Swann’s consumers have been low to middle income and from our website data, we know that Swann’s typical consumer has household income of about $70K dollars so we know we fill that void of being easy and affordable.
As we move forward, I think there is an opportunity to have more security devices that interconnect. We want someone that says, “you know what, I trusted Swann with my family’s security and surveillance, and now I need other devices around the house that can interconnect.” I think there is an opportunity to sort of fill that void of multiple devices around the home that work with video services all on the one app, and Swann can be providing that. A lot of time consumers will call us up and say they got broken into, and we know that half of the consumers that come to Swann are the victim of a break in or know someone that recently was broken into, so they are really reacting to a traumatic event that’s happened. We really want to get to those people and help them. What we often find is that they don’t know what to get. They say, “I don’t know where to turn to, Swann you tell me what I should get.” Often times we’ll hear them say, “well that’s good that I can get the video security taken care of, but I’d really like you to take care of everything for me.” I think that complete security solution is still a gap in the market and I think that’s something that we can fill moving forward. Wireless technology is allowing us to do that.
The heat sensing True Detect technology has really struck a chord with consumers because it means you can get a reliable push notification, not just a push notification of trees blowing in the wind. The recording becomes that much more efficient because you are only recording events that involve people, cars, and large animals, so again it’s not just empty footage that wastes your time. It makes the whole piece of mind thing more reliable.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
From my point of view, I hope that our consumers regard Swann almost as being a security advisor. Not that we are old in age, but like a retired policeman. Someone that they feel comfortable and happy to take advice from because they know we know a lot about security. I would hope they’d say about us after they’ve tried our product that they feel it’s taken a load off their mind and given them peace of mind that they know Swann is there. Also if they know Swann is there looking after their important assets and loved ones, it makes them feel better about themselves so they can focus on the the things that are important in their lives, and enjoy life, because they know they’ve got that valuable asset there as a part of their lives. I’d like to be regarded as someone who’s been invited in and is helping them take care of their loved ones and given them their peace of mind.