We talked to Stan Podolski, Founder of HundredGraphs Energy Dashboard about smart home energy and sensors monitor and here is what he said about it.
How do you come up with the idea of the Hundred Graphs?
Stan Podolski: Having a “smart home,” I wanted not just to turn on and off the light in my garage remotely but to become smarter in managing my home. I created a plugin that allowed me to get the information from various sensors, visualize it, see trending, and make comparisons and predictions. Working on the project and chatting with different smart house owners, I figured out that other users have a similar need. It turned personal curiosity into the open service HundredGraphs, where people have convenient tools to visualize and manage the data from their smart home equipment.
How does HundredGraphs innovate?
Stan Podolski: We embrace users’ uniqueness and offer a range of customized templates for various data types. In HundredGraphs, users can select to report the data from all or only particular sensors, how data will be presented, and how often updated. Users create a dashboard that fits their individual needs.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping.
Stan Podolski: No doubt that the pandemic impacted most of the businesses. The decrease in people’s income has led to a slowdown in the growth of paid subscriptions. Many people have changed their focus and priorities. Smart home technology and environmental issues have given way to concerns about personal health and safety.
Simultaneously, people began to spend more time at home, which means they consume more electricity and receive large bills. This fact emphasized the value of our service. HundredGraphs helps people understand what is going on, prevent wasting, and optimize energy consumption and expenses.
To help people pass this challenging time, we froze the subscriptions’ cost and offered a basic Free Forever plan.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Stan Podolski: Realizing the complexity of the current situation, we suspended the active marketing promotion of the service. Our current focus is on customer support and providing user-friendly solutions. Helping people cope with the crisis is more important for us than breathtaking graphs of growth in the investors’ presentations. We also see this as an opportunity to strengthen users’ loyalty.
What management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Stan Podolski: Flexibility, readiness to work in the uncertainty, and finding the opportunity are the essential skill set to manage a startup.
Who are your competitors? How do you plan to stay in the game?
Stan Podolski: We see companies operating in the market for smart devices as partners. At the current stage, this market is in a state of development. Each player participates in popularizing smart home data management and contributes to the growth of the market. Some manufacturers, e.g. Samsung, offer their data viewing applications. But since the main business for such companies is devices, their software is often inconvenient and lacks the flexibility that HundredGraphs offers. Some companies require to buy specific expensive hardware in pair with software applications. HundredGraphs works with different popular brands and doesn’t demand to buy any additional equipment.
Additionally, our solution is fully customized for the user’s environment and objectives. Affordable subscriptions and Free Forever plans keep user risks to a minimum. At the same time, the benefits of optimizing energy consumption and managing sensor data are clear. They have a positive economic and environmental impact.
Stan Podolski: It’s crucial to understand how users’ needs changed during the crisis and what new values the target audience can look for. Supporting people and society is a matter of our mission.
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