15 Minutes With Bitwise: A Worthy Alternative
CustomRetailer: When was the company founded, and what background did the founder bring to it?
Ron Pitcock, Jr.: It was founded in 2008 by Lance Beck. He’s a self-proclaimed Iowa farm boy who got into the technology industry. When he was 23, he started a company that was monitoring and automating grain elevators, providing safety products so they wouldn’t explode, which they can do if they’re not monitored and handled properly. It was all about monitoring and control, and he could monitor everything from humidity to temperature to levels of the grain. He devised complete automation programs for these grain elevators that saved lives.
In 2005, he managed to become the largest supplier in that industry, then sold his company to John Deere. Then he got into the audio/video industry after doing commercial and consumer installations over the years. But he didn’t like the control product that was out there, so he thought, there has to be a better way. One of the products he had manufactured in his previous career was a control-type product. So he took that experience, built on it, and that’s how BitWise was born.
CR: Is your focus more on offering residentially oriented IP control systems or doing commercially tailored solutions? Which segment is growing more rapidly for you?
Pitcock: Up until a couple of months ago, we were heavily weighted on the residential side. However, we garnered a lot of integrator interest at the recent InfoComm, so I’d say that it’s probably equally weighted right now. Our commercial applications are much larger than the residential applications, for obvious reasons. Commercial and marine are both taking off very quickly. The way our company is tracking right now, I’d say we could be at about 80 percent commercial within the next year.
CR: Can you summarize your core product lines and the market segments they address, as well as the recently announced software update—Project Editor version 1.2?