Almost two years ago, Aereo (a company I was proud to be part of) suffered a very public defeat at the highest federal court in the United states. So when Chet Kanojia, someone I view as somewhat a mentor, asked me to join Starry with the same core team, it was really a no brainer.
The goal, a difficult one, is to fix the internet for consumers both in and out of the home.
Fix the internet for consumers both in and out of the home
To solve the in home problem, we started drawing from our own experiences at Aereo, and exploring what frustrations consumers have. Wi-FI is essential to our life... it was almost obvious that we needed to solve this mess, and from that, Starry Station was born.
Location, location location...
I consider myself fairly educated about Wi-Fi ups and downs, and one of easiest things a user can do it place their router in a central location, high up, etc... Even armed with that knowledge, I place my router in a crappy location, because they are hideous monsters. It was clear we needed something gorgeous and functional that users want to proudly display in their homes. Starry Station is the soul of all my wireless devices, and because it's beautiful, it's now the a centerpiece in my home.
Ease of setup...
Setting up a router should not require a PhD. Ok, ok, ok... that was a little harsh, but looking out there most companies aren't in the least bit concerned. Most users never will use 90% of what manufactures offer yet features are being added in the boatloads, I guess to say "look I have more features than you". What is one thing guaranteed that everyone does, well they setup it up!
Most users never will use 90% of what manufacturers offer
The screen was no accident... at Starry (almost to a fault) we are constantly trying to make users lives easier. What better way to get users up and running, without requiring additional steps, seemed like a no brainer to put a screen. We went through many (many) iterations and constantly challenging ourselves, to make it fast and pleasant. To some it may seem like crazy wasted effort, as you only do it once, but that's who we are, we want everything to feel easy and seamless.\n\n
Can't tell you how many calls/emails I get from my family and friends when they have issues. Everyone knows the way to fix your problems is to restart the router. Can't we be smarter? If you are tech savvy, when you have problems you walk through your cheatsheet of steps. Restart, ping, speed test, DNS, signal strength, restart device, solve world hunger, wait it out, shout, scream... Starry monitors the health of your network and all your devices.
Starry monitors the health of your network and all your devices
Why wait for problems to arise? Analyzing allot of data points continuously... we distill down it to simple health score. A simple percentage a number from 0 - 100, because users understand that. As we find new data points to help users you can be certain that we will add it in... because we never settle.
Starry Station is meant to be in the center of your home, so why relegate the beautiful touch screen to only a management device. Was a great day when was breaking down some intricacies to Jane Huschka our talented designer, and we came up with ambient. How do you breakdown something so complex to be digestible to most users? Something they can see from a far, how is the network doing, how many devices are connected, how much data am I am using, what is the health of those devices...
How do you breakdown something so complex to be digestible to most users?
Again many (many) iterations and prototypes, can you tell we are obsessed with getting things right for users, we found the perfect solution. After living with this device, I can't see how I lived without it. Before I fire up Netflix I glance over, score is 95%... things are blue... nothing consuming too much bandwidth... I am good to go, open up a beer and watch a way. Oh damn buffering ... damn I see another device is hogging up my network, or my provider speed went down, or DNS, or whatever it is ... Starry tells me.
Up to date ...
This actually is one of the most surprising things to me, how can a router that provides you access to the internet, not be up to date? Why make it so hard? Not even going to say anything else about that.. At Starry as you can tell we are passionate about users and will constantly be updating to add well thought out features and improvements, and you don't need to do a thing... always be re-assured we have your back.
How can a router that provides you access to the internet, not be up to date?
There really is so much more I can say about the Starry Station, could go on forever, but will leave that for another day. The features we have and the roadmap looks amazing..
What we at Starry have accomplished in one year is nothing short of remarkable. I am so proud to be part of this team (always looking for great talent) that never settles and always looking how make it better.Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of my employer.