Often, being early in a market is a bad thing. As the old saying goes: The pioneers are those with arrows in their back.
But for entrepreneur Saar Yoskovitz, being early has turned out just fine. In fact, he started his business, Augury, when the buzzword, the Internet of Things (IoT), did not exist yet! But based on what he was seeing at the time — back in 2011 — he knew there were some interesting trends that would rapidly become mega markets.
Yet the early days were not easy.
“The basic premise of connectivity was challenged from the beginning,” he said. “So being self-funded for two years was essential. We needed to wait for the market to catch up.”
For the most part, Saar applied IoT technology to various mature markets, such as maintenance in factories and commercial buildings. That is, the platform helped customers with the diagnoses of machines based on the sounds they made, leveraging ultrasonic sensors paired with machine learning algorithms. To use an analogy, it was like Shazam — but for machines.
No doubt, the benefits have been substantial for customers, in terms of energy conservation, safety and overall lower costs.
According to Saar: “We were one of the first to try applying the lean startup method to hardware, which was not easy to do. We had to develop fast iterations of hardware prototypes without guaranteed funding.”