The Future Of Airbnb And Amazon Might Hinge On A Smart Lock
It’s a cliche that inventing good software is easy, while creating good hardware is almost impossible. The reason seems simple enough: Software can always be updated, but hardware can’t change once the factory lines start running.
But that simple fact belies a deeper truth. Look at any piece of hardware today—whether it’s a Fitbit or an iPhone—and you’re not just looking at a bet about what people want to buy today. You’re seeing a bet about what people want to buy today that was made at least three years ago. You’re seeing ideas delivered on a time-delayed fuse. Which means that any company hoping to succeed in hardware has to make a bet about the future.
Four years ago, Luke Schoenfelder was working as a junior policy wonk for Apple in D.C. when he made his bet (more on that in a bit). Today, his company, Latch, might be the least heralded competitor in the over-saturated smart-lock space. But after $37 million in venture capital and an unusually long time running in stealth mode, Latch seems primed. Today, the company unveiled news that it would be the lock maker of choice for Airbnb’s newest housing experiment, Niido. But even more, Schoenfelder thinks Latch is in position for the freaky future of bespoke home delivery services.
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