Once upon a time, Andy Hodge helped bring the world the iPod—a product that entered the still-emerging field of MP3 players and then nailed the idea so perfectly that it became synonymous with the category. Later in his decade-long tenure at Apple, he worked on the iPhone, which did much the same thing to smartphones. Working closely with Steve Jobs on these projects, he says, was like being “a kid in a candy shop, but you had to work very hard in that candy shop.”
After shorter tours of duty at Microsoft (where he was general manager for the HoloLens mixed-reality headset before its release) and Dropcam (right before its acquisition by Nest), Hodge is launching a startup he cofounded, Owl. Ending a stealthy period during which the company was willfully cryptic about what it was working on (“We are passionate about creating services and devices to help people deal with real life events that matter”), it’s revealed its first product: a wireless camera that mounts on your car’s dashboard and records the world within and without.
Back when Hodge and cofounder Nathan Ackerman, also a HoloLens veteran, were hatching ideas for a company, “the first thing we thought about was trying to make home security better,” explains Hodge. “One in six Americans pay a surprising amount for it.” But assessing that market—which is already bulging with products, from the Nest Cam (née Dropcam) to the Ring doorbell—led to an epiphany: “The most dangerous place we are from a security standpoint is the car.” Working in Hodge’s garage, the startup’s founding team began cobbling together prototype car cams.
Source: Fast Company
Author: Harry McCracken