Elevator Pitch is a new regular feature on Lifehacker where we profile startups and new companies and pick their brains for entrepreneurial advice. This week, we're talking with futurist and occasional Lifehacker video panel contributor Mark Pesce about his latest project, MooresCloud: a company launching (among other things) an LED lamp with a full server stack inside.
In 128 words or less, explain your business idea.
MooresCloud designs, develops and manufactures hardware, apps and services that make devices emotional, intelligent, and interactive. With the launch of Light by MooresCloud in October 2012, we are pioneering the design of beautiful, intelligent, connected light -- to reflect mood, set the scene, or indicate an event.
Over the next decade all lighting will be replaced with vastly more efficient LED lighting; a fair portion of that lighting will be full-spectrum colour capable. MooresCloud is creating that lighting, and developing the app and service ecosystem that connects these new lights to intelligence.
On 28 May, MooresCloud will be carving out its own corner of the 'Internet of Things' with a product that brings a bit of delight into the world.
What strategies are you using to grow and finance your idea?
We used a mixture of crowdfunding, for the Light by MooresCloud, and seed investment, for our forthcoming product. We're just finishing our seed round at the moment.
During the launch the Light by MooresCloud, we raised pledges of nearly $300,000 on Kickstarter. That's a tidy sum, but it wasn't any easier to raise that amount on Kickstarter than if we'd gone to investors to ask for the same amount. Even so, Kickstarter gave us tremendous exposure. People all over the world now know about MooresCloud. We got a global marketing campaign at nearly no cost.
What's the biggest challenge facing your business?
Shipping our forthcoming product before the end of the year; this means we're working within an telescoped design and manufacturing process which we must execute with extreme efficiency. Fortunately our partnership with Tiller Design provides a deep reservoir of experience to draw from, but every day presents new problems that must be resolved for the product to reach market on schedule.
What one phone, tablet or PC application could you not live without?
Google Docs. The whole team uses it to share information throughout the organization.
What's the best piece of business advice you've ever received?
"Make sure that everyone around you is smarter than you." That came from my boss, Frank Slaughter, the co-founder of Shiva Corporation, which became a very successful technology startup.
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