Smart is a buzzword, but its meaning has been defined by an increasingly small number of companies.
In a world where every product has been a winner, it is perhaps not surprising that a startup has to find a way to sell it.
But there are still plenty of questions about how smart is actually defined, and how to define it in a way that is both practical and effective.
I recently interviewed three smart thinkers to discuss what this means for their businesses.
First, I wanted to talk about the concept of “smart” and how it applies to both the design and the delivery of a product.
Then, I spoke to Michael B. Lee, co-founder of the software company Flume, who said that smart is not something you can define by numbers.
Instead, it’s something you want to feel about your products, and that means understanding how they work.
Lee said he wants his company to focus on “making our products better than ever.”
“What we do as a company is not really what is most important to us,” Lee said.
“It’s about what we can create that is going to make us a better company.”
Lee believes that if the goal is to get more people to use your products more effectively, it has to be about the design of your product itself, rather than about the number of users that use it.
“I think that is the most important thing we should be doing to improve the experience of people who use our products,” Lee told me.
“And then the product should be able to communicate that.”
Smart is also an open-ended term, meaning that any company can create a product that works for them, or that people can use.
That means there’s no set standard for what a smart product is, and it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.
Lee added that he’s always been aware of the challenges that startups face in trying to figure out how to market their products.
“We have to make sure that we don’t take it too seriously,” he said.
Lee believes he and his team are on the right track.
“The key is to be a very honest company, and be very transparent,” Lee explained.
“Be very clear about what your product is and what the goal of your company is, then talk about how it can deliver those outcomes.”
“The biggest challenge we face right now is that we have to create an ecosystem where it’s easy for everyone to buy the same product,” he continued.
“If we don to be open and transparent, we’ll end up creating this one product, and people will not be able afford it.”
Lee said that Flume is now on the verge of launching its first product, the Flume App, which is designed to help users understand what their products are and what they’re meant to do.
The company says the Flumetap app will be available for free, and Lee said the company is “making a huge amount of progress in the first week.”
As a result, Flume’s customers are already signing up for Flume apps on their smartphones, and they’re already getting a lot of feedback from users about their experience with Flume.
Lee told Wired that he hopes to have Flume available in the US and in other countries within the next few months.
“This is going so well,” he told me, noting that he believes that Flumetteapp will be a great first step towards the “one product, one product solution.”
Lee is optimistic that he can build Flume into a successful company in the long run, and he said that the company can build a “huge ecosystem” of products that are available to the world at large.
Lee has been involved in product development for years, and when he launched his company in 2013, he focused on creating “small but powerful, easy-to-use products” that would help people connect to each other.
“My hope is that the world of products will be much more accessible, accessible to everyone, and accessible to all at once,” Lee wrote in his book The Smartest Thing in the World, published by Oxford University Press.
“With the Flummox App, we’ve made that possible.”