This post is meant to capture a moment in time. Today. Our launch party. How did we get here, what have we built, where are we going?
12 months ago, in the summer of 2018, Nathan and I caught up in our local coffee shop, Urban Standard. We had met in that same spot back in 2014 when we were neighbors in downtown Birmingham.
12 months ago, Nathan and I were both very employed, me as an analytics consultant and him as an executive at a software company, but both of us harbored another ambition - to build a business.
We laid out some ground rules at the beginning.
- We wanted to build our business in Birmingham.
- We wanted to focus on IoT (that's the "Internet of Things", which if you're not familiar you can think of as businesses that build wireless sensors).
- We wanted to solve a problem that was important, that was worth getting out of bed in the morning to work on.
- We wanted to build a business with a subscription-based, recurring revenue model that could grow quickly and become valuable.
So those were the rules and here we are 12 months later launching an IoT business, in Birmingham, with a subscription revenue model, helping preserve our shared cultural heritage (something worth working on!).
The Thank Yous
We wouldn't be where we are without an enormous amount of help - some of it given in exchange and much of it given freely.
I first want to thank every conservation professional that has taken the time to share their perspective on the field. These conversations have been the fuel of the business, helping us see the problems more clearly so we can imagine and build the next generation of solutions. We're here to serve you.
I want to thank our beta customers for taking a chance on a product that was more idea than reality. And I want to thank this group for the feedback and support that turned the ideas into the product we have today. Every major feature we've developed over the last two months came directly from beta customer feedback.
I want to thank our investors for the capital that has allowed Nathan and I to devote 100% of our time to this problem for the last seven months. I've been humbled by the kind of smart money that has walked into our lives - investors who bring financial resources but also the emotional resources to keep us going.
I want to thank all of our advisors, the official and unofficial ones. Special thanks to Karim Budhwani and Ben Fino-Radin whose energy and insights help us go further, faster. And for everyone who's shared a word of advice, thank you.
I also want to thank everyone that has told us no or expressed serious doubts about what we're doing. Entrepreneurs have to learn to ignore as much as they learn to listen, and we're forced to deal with no a lot, and see it not as a setback, but as useful information.
And finally thank you to our friends and families for putting up with crazy adventure. It's a major life distraction to build a business from nothing to something. It's very rewarding to have good partners along for the ride.
Most conservation professionals that deal with environmental monitoring are aware of the eClimateNotebook product. We like this product, because it represents the best of what's available, and taking this product as inspiration, we want to do a lot more.
What we're launching is the very first iteration of our conservation solution - which is a free piece of software focused on letting conservators bring their environmental data to our platform and do analysis. This will be available on July 31, 2019.
This product will always be free with unlimited users, unlimited data, and unlimited locations. In the future we will offer paid versions that deliver advanced features or enable new ways of working, but this product will always be free.
We will be releasing updates to this software continuously based on user feedback. If you want to contribute to where conservation tools are headed, follow along, provide feedback, and we'll build the tools you need. You can sign up for our blog down below.
We will follow up on August 31, 2019 with our conservation-focused sensor that collects temp, RH, lux, and vibration wirelessly without the need for WiFi. This is our full end-to-end environmental monitoring solution which we expect to be very disruptive (in a good way!).
Treatment reports, condition reporting, inter-organization loans, environmental control, policy and process. There are so many other jobs that conservation professionals do every day that could benefit from better tools. And we're here to listen, to learn, and to support this awesome community.
Something to Take Away
Our mission is to bring better care to more collections around the world. The end result will be that collections are more accessible for us and future generations. By making conservation jobs easier to do with better technology, Conserv can help with this, and so can you.
We end every pitch to investors and other groups with a prompt to "Support your local arts and cultural institutions." Take some time and get curious about the collections in your community, go and visit them. There are millions of smart, conscientious people around the world working to take care of collections. Support their work.
If you're still wondering what conservation is all about then this is a great article to read next.