FROM SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT TO THE INTERNET OF THINGS – LESSONS LEARNT
By Jin Qian, CEO
So, here is my story. After 12 amazing years of working for the telecommunications company Ericson on three different continents of the world, I decided to come back to China and founded Navidog, a mobile navigation device that uses GPS and traffic data to provide routes and time to destination. Before the company got acquired by Navilnfo in 2013, our app reached the download count of more than 100 million. Having realized that over 80 % of the app users were car owners, I decided to continue working in this field and made Goluk dashboard camera, which currently has the biggest user generated community in the car field!
Coming from a purely software-related background, starting out in the Internet of Things (IoT) and dealing with hardware development presented a great challenge.
The most difficult part was grasping good control of the supply chain and quality. A Goluk dashcam has more than 400 components, each and every one of which has to work right. Even in spite of being located in close proximity to the factory and thus having more flexibility in managing our supply chain, it took several generations of product and tremendous amount of R&D to achieve excellent quality control (QC).
Somehow from the very beginning I felt that the best way to ensure excellent QC for Goluk is to do our own R&D. There are several advantages to it, the most important one being flexibility as well as the ability to react by instantly making adjustments based on the customers’ feedback once the product goes live. That’s why we hired a team of engineers to develop our own hardware, software, embedded system, and app. Outsourcing R&D might seem more cost efficient at the beginning, but in the long run it makes QC extremely difficult, slows down innovation process and makes operating costs climb significantly.
Perhaps most importantly, considering the need for QC, supply chain management and in-house R&D, innovating in the IoT can turn into a huge investment; it will shock you and exceed your expectations. The main reason is that you need adequate manpower to sustain R&D, but manpower is the kind of investment that always pays off. Keep calm and BRACE YOURSELF!