Status Update: Hydroid Meter
Hello! And, welcome to my first blog. I decided that I should start this blog with where we are rather than go into the history of where we’ve been. I think Marc (Marc Kelly, H2Optimize Co-founder and CTO) and I will leave that for another day. I have to say though, I’m truly excited about this stage of Hydroid Meter’s design.
Installed in-line on your main water supply, Hydroid Meter counts every drop of water you use and delivers real-time flow information to your mobile phone. It enables you to set conservation goals, protects your water supply from waste or high use, and reduces your water bill. The mobile app lets you shut off the main water valve AND gives really fascinating insights into daily water use.
We’ve made it through most of the development hardships (hardships = hardware… it was always the hardware. See the resemblance?) and now have 8 Beta Hydroid Meters installed and fully functional. Okay, so I said I wasn’t going to go into the history, but how about a one-liner: six prototypes, nine PCB revisions, a really ugly MVP (Minimum Viable Product), Alpha testing in team member’s, friend’s, and families’ homes. Yep, nine PCB revisions on the Hydroid Meter’s PCB. I’m not proud of that number, other than having slogged through all that might qualify as ‘grit.’ But now, 18 months later we have 8 fully functional Beta installs!
Hydroid isn’t market ready today, hence the Beta testing, but we’re very, very close.
Here is a picture of our Beta Hydroid Meter versus our Final Hydroid Meter.
Before we launch, we wanted and needed to see how people will actually use it. You know, when you have this idea, you push it along and it turns into a workable concept, you do all this research, analysis, planning, segmenting, etc to design the right thing for the right market. Then you work really, really hard to make it a product... and the truth is, you never know. As much as possible, we’ve stuck to the super smart methods to validate such as Marc Andreessen’s Product/Market Fit’, Ash Maurya’s Lean Canvas, and Eric Ries’ Lean Start-up. But, there is always risk. Validation is key.
Validating the product
To really test the Hydroid Meter, we’ve installed it in homes and businesses that give us the broadest experience of use and installation types. And we need more! So, if you’re interested, please sign up.
Current install profile
We have Hydroid Meters installed in six houses on city or municipality water in Midland, Austin, Greater Gardendale and San Marcos, Texas, and in Vancouver BC, Canada. Yeah, that’s right we’re global. Or at least multinational. But, either way, we’re huge.
Two of our Hydroid Meters are installed in the ground, in irrigation boxes just a few feet from the city water meter on the customer premise side. Three are in water closets where water softeners are installed. And one in a basement. (I bet you can guess where.) As a side note, if you have a basement or water closet, these are the absolute easiest install scenarios we’ve experienced.
We also have Hydroid Meters installed in a water well and rainwater collection system here in Central Texas.
Ugh, plumbing. No thank you.
Something we’ve worked hard to resolve is to make the installation easier because most of us never really like to do our own plumbing. Plumbing can be a little daunting for many. Shutting off your water supply is really unnerving. Therefore, ease of installation, we think, is critically important for the do-it-yourselfers. And, we’re ready across all types of pipes. Today we have Hydroid smart water meters installed on PVC, PEX and iron pipe. This should be a cinch for any plumber since Hydroid meter meets ANSI and AWWA water meter requirements. What that means is “for a plumba...it’s like butta.” If you’re a plumber and are interested in using this with your customers, please contact me.
Okay, so there it is. My first blog. In my next post, I’ll show everyone our super cool software and what customers are getting from it. Then, do a deeper dive in various water meter installations (with pictures and video!). If you have suggestions or interests, please leave a comment and we’ll try to address it.
Until next time…
Hydroid. The smartest water meter you control.