People Innovation Excellence

Uber + Instacart + the IoT—for Your Swimming Pool

Justin Miller’s resume is a tale of tech history: AT&T, Apple, Webvan (ouch), eBay, Plaxo…and then running a 250-person innovation center for Comcast. He left Comcast in 2014, looking to do a startup of some kind. And then, at a backyard barbecue, standing around a pool with a drink in hand, he ran one idea he’d been batting around past Mark Janes, a serial entrepreneur who had founded several startups in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States.

Miller’s idea: simplifying pool and hot tub care, in the way that Uber simplifies travel, and Instacart simplifies grocery delivery. But he wanted to take it one step further, by putting people’s pools on the Internet of Things so they can manage much of their own day-to-day maintenance.

The idea is a mix of just about everything hot in tech today: on-demand services, the IoT, and cloud. That could make it a joke. Remember “Pandora for Cats”? Or it could be that this kind of technology is positioned to catch a big wave.

Miller, of course, thinks it’s the latter. Janes agreed, and in the third quarter of 2014, the two started ConnectedYard. Since then,…[Read more]

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