We talked to Erik Fossum Færevaag on how Disruptive Technologies thinks bigger with smaller, and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: When schools in Norway transferred to home education virtually overnight, my wife dealt with that aspect of our lives. My desk moved to our family’s dining room, and thanks to our family’s general flexibility, this has worked out well. However, by the time it got to autumn, we started to miss normal life—meeting friends, going to theatres, etc.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Disruptive Technologies?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: I have a Masters in Microelectronics, and I began my career working for a company that built one of the world’s first low-cost digital radio transmitters. Texas Instruments acquired the company in 2005. My colleagues and I started a new company, Energy Micro, where we made the lowest power microcontroller (one chip PC) worldwide. SiLabs later acquired this company. Our experience in these companies revealed how hard it was to build reliable, easy-to-use sensors and share or collect the data. And that gave us the idea for Disruptive Technologies—a company that has created the world’s smallest sensor with full infrastructure for software companies, allowing buildings and facilities to optimize all their operations.
How does Disruptive Technologies innovate?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: By understanding the IoT landscape and how we can simplify and reduce operations cost. We’re in constant communication with customers to understand their problems and our engineers to understand our capabilities. As you might expect, we keep on top of new and exciting technologies by reading about them all the time. In the short term, we’re focused on improving and building on what we have. Our long-term focus is to make new in-demand technologies over the next three to five years.
How did the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: On average, it feels as if the market is operating as usual. There is friction on some larger decisions, and it is harder to find new leads and contacts from fairs and traditional channels as those avenues have been closed off to us. However, Covid has also been a ‘compelling event’ for remote monitoring applications, cleaning efficiency and validation, and building utilization.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: We continued business as usual, but through our partners, we focused more on cleaning and Covid-relevant applications.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and Disruptive Technologies in the future?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: One of the best solutions for stress and anxiety, I find, is exercise. I take a run in the mornings, and that kick starts the day.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: We plan to keep ourselves ahead of our competitors by offering a broader range of sensors, solving challenging technical problems that benefit the customer, and investing in in-depth hardware development and manufacturing.
Your final thoughts?
Erik Fossum Færevaag: These are exciting times. The world is heading for autonomy, and we want to be at the forefront of that drive.