EP #512: How focusing on a niche brought TechCrunch and $630,000 from Indiegogo – with Altas Wearables co-founder Peter Li

I’m a meathead. Or a lunkhead. Whatever you want to call it, I am addicted to physical fitness. My philosophy is simple: Go to the gym. Lift the heaviest weights I can for as many times as I can. Stop thinking. Just lift. I also love all things wearable so when I saw Peter Li’s company on Indiegogo a while back I knew I had to speak with him because it combined my love of the lunk with my love of the mobile.

Peter’s company is Atlas Wearables and are focused exclusively on the fitness vertical with their first product. To say this device is sophisticated would not do it justice. To say that Peter and his team have learned lessons while collecting over $600,000 through their IndieGoGo campaign and trying to decipher the difference between a normal pushup and a triangle pushup in real time would be an understatement (the latter took close to 1 full year to do).

The thing that should resonate with you while you watch this important episode is the opportunities that are out there as a result of mobile. Niche markets, established markets – it doesn’t matter any more because when you redesign with mobile in mind, the platform is level, incumbents are at a disadvantage and innovation happens with guys like Peter.

Enjoy!



Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip

1. What is lacking in the market today? 2:25
2. What was the inspiration for Atlas? 3:45
3. What was the original goal for the product? 5:40
4. How can 6.5 people build a better product than Sony or Apple? 7:50
5. Why are existing wearable devices just pedometers? 10:00
6. What has been the greatest challenge for Atlas to date? 10:50
7. How do you use the Atlas? 12:55
8. Does the Atlas change behaviour? 14:40
9. How did you do research for the product? 15:10
10. How did you put the research into an interface that works? 17:20
11. What is the strategy for launching with exercises 19:40
12. How did your team decide what features and exercises would be a part of the first release? 21:25
13. Do you create a marketplace within the device? 23:50
14. What does Apple’s rumoured device mean to Atlas and wearables in general? 25:05
15. How will you determine the pricing? 26:15
16. Does the niche dictate the price you can charge? 29:00
17. When does Atlas ship? 29:50
18. How did you partner with Techcrunch + why IndieGoGo? 32:10
19. Could you have launched with $125K? 34:50
20. What were you expecting from your IndieGoGo campaign? 36:00
21. What does the future look like for wearables? 37:10
22. What do you do with the data the Atlas collects? 38:50
23. How else are you funding the future of the company? 40:45
24. What about Nike? What happened? 41:35
25. What inspires you? 46:20

Audio

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About Peter Li
Peter Li Atlas WearablesFormally trained with a Masters of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Hopkins, Peter has experience solving complex medical challenges. There, he worked with Alex (now lead software dev) to develop a better fetal heart rate monitor. Outside engineering, Peter founded a fruit delivery subscription (Netflix+Farmers Market) www.froots.co. With a personal investment of $4,000, he was cash flow positive in 3 months. Though ops and logistical optimization was rewarding, he missed the tech challenges

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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