In Defense of Honeywell's Indiegogo Campaign
For the uninformed, Honeywell, a company with roughly 130,000 employees and a net income of $4 billion, has launched a new security hub on Indiegogo — and there is nothing wrong with that.
Before we lose the plot, Honeywell's device is not anything revolutionary. Its pitch is a DIY connected security camera that has the aesthetics of an Amazon Echo and keeps the homeowner "aware of what’s happening at home so you can come and go with confidence." Inside, it features the familiar suspects (or has an expected delivery by 2018) including Z-Wave Plus, Alexa, IFTTT, Google Assistant, and Apple to name a few.
Honeywell directly calls out Nest, Ring, Simplisafe, Samsung SmartThings, and CANARY on the Indiegogo page for dramatic effect.
The battery-powered security system is sold as a base and works with a handful accessories including their homebrewed door and window sensors and a key fob to arm and disarm the 90-decibel alarm quickly. It will stay nimble with the Apple/Google/Amazon support and builds off facial and audio recognition software baked in. It starts at $400 for just the base, and another $50 for motion detectors, $40 per window/door sensors, and $30 for a key fob.
So where does the billion-with-a-b dollar company get off publishing a product on Indiegogo? It's straightforward. Make a different product, take a different approach.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, then Honeywell venturing to Indiegogo is an obvious way of explaining they want a different outcome. Honeywell defends themselves, saying that a crowdsourced project should have crowdsourced suggestions and if hitting their meager $50,000 goal with 145 people in a short 24 hours is tangible proof that early adopters are both passionate and vocal.
Indiegogo's tiered buy-in means consumers can buy in any way they want, add comments to steer the manufacturing progress, and create a mass of hype just through word of mouth and social media. It may also drive education to Honeywell's Lyric system, as the Smart Home Hub is controlled by the same app.
On the back-end, Indiegogo is providing a long list of advantages for their Enterprise Crowdsourcing solution. Between top-tier advertising, optimized campaigns, and detailed analytics - it's safe to assume that Honeywell is building an excellent portfolio of demographics for who wants their product. Indiegogo even helps court their audience by suggesting when campaigns should run, how long videos should be, and how to present their page. Honeywell doesn't need to change anything else internally, even if this product is a smash hit. They have the workforce and the bankroll to stay the course, and they don't lose big on a DIY gamble.
The win-win is intrapreneurship at its finest and its proof that everyone, big or small, can use a shake-up and take some risks.