First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Chris Carney: My family and I are doing well. We’ve been lucky in the sense that we haven’t come into contact with anyone affected by COVID-19.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded abode.
Chris Carney: With over 20 years of experience in software and security technology, I started abode in 2014 to pursue my goal of changing the status quo in the home security space by delivering a system that puts users in control. Before co-founding abode, I was the chief operating officer at Promimex Corporation, which was acquired by Tyco Fire and Security, and before that, I was the director of M&A at ADT. Throughout my career, I have been granted opportunities in which I have gained invaluable experience working with both DIY and professional-install security systems.
How does abode innovate?
Chris Carney: Abode was designed to be the most flexible and comprehensive all-in-one DIY smart security solution. With a vision of providing ease, simplicity, and choice, abode products combine home security with comprehensive smart home functionality. Abode’s powerful platform is delivered in a simple user interface, giving customers an intuitive and easily customizable experience from setup to everyday use. Currently, the abode iota and Smart Security Kit are the only Apple HomeKit compatible DIY smart home security systems on the market, providing the compatibility homeowners need for customizable smart home experience.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Chris Carney: The abode team is slightly tempered by the unknown happening in the world today, but we are optimistic about the coming year. Our team sells to customers through eCommerce, which benefits the customer and us during the pandemic because we don’t have to interact directly with customers. Abode has always been a remote organization where we sell to consumers without having to come to their homes. Consumers are spending more time at home and, in turn, are considering the safety of their families more now than ever before. We’ve also seen an uptick in home improvement projects, including smart home and security gear. Homeowners are looking for easy-to-install home security systems that don’t require dealers or contractors to enter the home. Abode’s DIY home security systems provide just that, home security that can be installed by the buyer. We’ve been lucky in this aspect, and with our roadmap, we feel optimistic, heading into 2021.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Chris Carney: The abode team operates as a fully remote team, so the hardest thing for myself as the CEO and lead in business development is the lack of travel. We haven’t been able to meet as a team or come into contact with potential partners and customers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, abode was well set up to handle successfully working from home. While working remote may have been a challenge before the pandemic, when it was time for others to start working from home, we realized as a team, that our remote structure was ideal and would continue to bring success to the company and all employees.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and abode in the future?
Chris Carney: The abode team has spent the past few months focusing on our strategies and continuing to provide consumers with the DIY smart home security systems they are looking for to keep loved ones protected as work and education are increasingly taking place at home. With updates and changes happening every day, we stay on our toes, ready to adjust our business plans with the changes in the market and consumer wants and needs. The abode team continues to work on product and performance enhancements and improvements for current and future customers. Moving forward, abode looks forward to sharing updates and staying optimistic about sales and security innovations for the coming year and beyond.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Chris Carney: Some of abode’s competitors include Amazon Ring, Simplisafe, Google Nest, and ADT. Abode is a boutique brand with products and solutions that perform on par, or in some cases better, than systems provided by larger companies within the DIY smart home security space. Abode is an ideal choice for customers who may be wary about inviting some of the larger tech companies into their home. The abode iota and Smart Security Kit set us apart from our competitors because they are easy to install and integrate with any current smart home set up. Abode’s DIY security features make it possible for consumers to integrate the systems on their own without the need for installers coming in and out of the home. The iota and Smart Security Kit are so much more than just security systems allowing for flexible, on-demand professional monitoring or ongoing monthly monitoring. Users are not locked to a long-term contract but rather, able to activate professional monitoring when they need it most. Both systems are the only Apple HomeKit DIY smart security systems on the market.
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