A stroke of genius. We all want it to happen while we take a shower or run or meditate don’t we? But we all know deep down inside that it takes hard work and hustle to be exposed to the opportunity to have a stroke of genius – and for many of us it will never happen or will pass us by unnoticed.
For Zach Supalla, CEO of Spark.io – an open-source, cloud-connected operating system for the Internet of Things – it wasn’t a single stroke of genius but many steps towards it as you’ll see in this episode. This is a classic story of using technology to solve a specific problem and then iterating and iterating and iterating. Zach has built hardware, done two Kickstarter campaigns, shifted to software, runs an open-source community, targets makers and sells to enterprise – all within the life of this one company.
Key takeaways from this episode. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
1. What is Spark? 2:55
2. What is your background? 4:50
3. Where did the idea come from? 6:30
4. From Kickstarter failure to Kickstarter success 7:30
5. Why were you in China? 13:00
6. What was the biggest challenge after being successful with Kickstart? 15:30
7. What do you do after you ship 30,000 Spark Cores? 19:30
8. Why not scale the chip development? 23:00
9. Why is Spark OS relevant? 28:00
10. What was the climate for raising money for Spark? 35:30
11. How do you balance the maker community with your target customer – enterprise 38:20
12. How did you find your first enterprise customer? 41:20
13. How do you position Spark to enterprises? 45:50
14. How competitive is the internet of things industry right now? 48:50
15. What is the best thing that could happen for the industry right now? 51:50
16. Where is the real value of the Internet of things? 54:45
About Zach Suppala
Founder and CEO of Spark. Business + dev + design. Worked at McKinsey and Groupon. Alumnus of Kellogg School of Management (MBA and MEM 2012) and Dartmouth College (BA 2007).