We’ve all been there. You find yourself running late for a meeting or dinner with friends all because you misplaced your phone, wallet, keys or some other aggravating combination.
Nothing makes you feel more helpless than searching every crevice of your home for something you really can’t afford to lose. And while mainstream technology is getting better about fixing this problem with things like Find My iPhone and more, it has yet to completely vanquish it.
That is, of course, until TrackR came along.
TrackR, a company founded in 2009, is committed to ensuring we spend our time more productively than searching and stressing over our lost items.
Christian Smith, TrackR Co-Founder and President spoke with TechDay to discuss what prompted him to launch the company, how it has achieved so much success, and what entrepreneurs can do to follow suit.
The value of TrackR is evident and solves a problem we can all identify with. When it comes to new technology, however, most people are wary or don't recognize it as a true need. How did TrackR overcome this common mindset and ultimately attain millions of users?
I guess that goes back to how the other co-founder, Chris Hebert, and I created TrackR. One day while surfing, we faced the terrifying situation of losing a set of car keys at the beach. The rising tide crept closer and closer to washing away Chris’s car parked in the sand. After hours of panic, and a bit of luck, we recovered our keys and saved the car. After this stressful experience, we set out to end the search for lost items forever.
At TrackR we give people the confidence to save time for themselves and their whole family. Instead of relying on your memory, you can rely on TrackR – and free up that mental space for more important things. Ring your keys, wallet, phone – or quickly find the TV remote for your kids. TrackR allows you to effortlessly manage all of the belongings in your home with one simple app. It’s technology that anyone can use.
What went into developing the technology that allows TrackR to run so successfully and how do you continue to iterate it?
Since 2009, TrackR’s app software, cloud databases and item trackers have revolutionized how consumers keep track of their keys and all their items, so they can effortlessly manage everything with one simple app. TrackR is also built into products from leading brands like Amazon, DoCoMo, Cross Pens and more. The works with TrackR program also develops partnerships to bring tracking capability to a wide range of innovative products – and expands TrackR’s Crowd Locate network. All of these innovations is a closer step toward our goal of making lost items a thing of the past.
How and when did you determine that TrackR was ready to launch and what were your first steps in getting the product off the ground?
One of the biggest decisions we made was to walk away from an exclusive deal with a partner. When we got started, we were selling our technology to a brand for resell. After a few months of successful sales, they attempted to change the terms of the agreement to be exclusive — which would have destroyed our growth potential. I ended up walking away from our only customer and our only source of revenue. This almost killed our business but enabled us to launch our own brand and be the company we are today.
What advice could you offer other founders in first launching a company and what it takes to have it succeed?
Think long term for the success of your business. Take time each week to reflect on the big picture. After a long work-week ends and before another one begins, it’s important to take a step back to reflect on your ultimate business goals and the progress made on both your company and your own personal and career growth. During the week, it’s easy to be consumed with the day-to-day grind and to forget about the big picture, but the weekend is the ideal time to reflect on your goals and successes to date. By taking this time to reflect, you might even find that your objectives have shifted, allowing you to modify your strategy and course correct to ensure you’re on track.
What are your upcoming plans for TrackR? What new features can we expect to see?
TrackR has experienced massive growth over the last two years, as seen by our recent $50 million Series B funding round and placement at #45 on this year’s Inc. 5000 list for scaling revenue growth. We have secured an executive team with years of experience developing strategies that take companies from 'standard' to billion dollar industry leaders, and we are excited to see what the future holds.
There are lots of finder gadgets out there, but we are focused on building a platform. The TrackR platform lets consumers create their own network of instantly searchable and shareable items -- eventually building a community of collaborative searchers.