Adam Wilson is the Founder and CSA of Orbotix Inc., maker of Sphero, an app-controlled robotic ball with 20 apps, a full SDK and accessories.
At first Sphero was looked at as a simple “gadget” and the friction was relatively high. We worked hard to build more apps, hold more hackathons with our open API/SDK and really focus on analyzing the data we have about Sphero to produce apps that do what people wanted their Sphero to do.
We are highly involved with what we call “hack friday.” On Fridays we have a company meeting, our CEO updates everyone and we show off art and apps. We also use that day to work on anything we want, things people ask for and crazy stuff! Things like the Sphero Peacekeeper (a 3 foot wide giant Sphero), Sphero chariots and our augmented reality games came from hack days. We just let people explore with no limits.
In hardware, things happen…. a few thousand Spheros were produced with a slight issue that we only discovered just as they landed in our distribution warehouse. We solved it quickly for the rest of the production run but this one shipment required us to send a crew to the warehouse, drill a tiny hole in Sphero to vent it and fix it. The shipment was due in ...