IFTTT, the startup that glues together services and connected devices, is preparing to start making money from premium services, CEO Linden Tibbets revealed at Gigaom’s Structure Connect show in San Franscisco on Wednesday.
Tibbets, whose company picked up $30 million in Series B funding a couple months back, said IFTTT hoped to “charge consumers for premium services on top of what we do now,” and intended to start doing so in the “coming months.” He also said IFTTT saw opportunities “on the channel side,” though he didn’t go into much detail. He previously hinted at paid-for plans in a New York Times interview.
“We’re in the process of trying to help people understand how to think of brands and services together,” he said, drawing an analogy with how the iPhone’s “grid of icons helped people crystallize a brand’s place on that device.”
Tibbets also hinted that IFTTT was thinking about ways to move beyond its current manual processes, where users look at the array of services and devices that they can plug together to create so-called recipes.
“We think we can go from that to other ways to make those connections, whether those are less manual or automatic, in the process of connecting those devices,” he said, adding that IFTTT was considering how to “make recommendations in the right places to help people solve problems.”
He also said that consumers are only starting to come to grips with the idea that they’re interacting not necessarily with the connected devices themselves, but rather the services built around them. “At the end of the day, all these devices will have services that present themselves like services…on the traditional internet,” Tibbets said.
Tibbets was speaking in a panel alongside Zonoff CEO Mike Harris, whose smart home hub company has a big deal with retailer Staples. Harris gave an interesting insight into consumer drivers for smart home adoption, noting that most people start with “peace of mind, security-type applications, but once they get that, convenience starts to come in.”
Photo by Jakub Mosur