Hi everyone - Chris here. I’m one of the co-founders at Rachio, with @franz, and employee number 1. Our vision was to empower the homeowner to easily run their irrigations systems in a way that kept their lawn and plants healthy while saving water. We envisioned it being so easy we even built it into our mission statement “Make sustainable water use effortless and personally rewarding”.
I spent the first 8.5 years as the CEO of Rachio. In the early days (Gen 1) I was able to focus a lot of my attention on product with Franz, which is what I love most.
As the years went on and the company grew, I was not able to spend much time at all in product. I promise there’s a point coming
I’m excited to say that we’ve recently hired a new CEO, Kim Sentovich (she’s wonderful), and I’ve moved into the head product role to work more side-by-side with Franz on product development.
I’m chiming in here because the theme of this post is very relevant for us. We realize over the years that we have bloated the product and made things complicated—from both a feature and and offering standpoint.
I’m in week 2 of my new role in product and our first initiative is to get closer to our customers and solve their problems with our irrigation controller. You all are pointing out many of the patterns we’re seeing as we look across CS tickets, the community, reviews and engage customers in interviews. We want to make this easier! We won’t be able to solve all problems/complexity, but there’s a lot we can do.
If you’d like to engage with us live, I’m happy to set up some time for video calls. Just let me know.
With regard to the posts around adaptive watering, I have some news to share. We agree that we have the model wrong by coupling the feature to a Thrive subscription and are rolling out changes over the next few weeks. Thrive will no longer be a subscription, meaning 1) our Lawn Champion product will be sold stand alone on the website (no subscription required) and 2) all features associated with the subscription will become available to R3, Generation 2 and Generation 1 controller customers.
This is just the start to simplification of our product offerings. I’m sure we’ll hit some snags, but I’m excited to be driving product again and look forward to engaging with those of you that are interested.