The first rule in business is to hammer down a mission statement that will stand as the company’s cornerstone through good times and bad. Creating a mission statement based on a single, innovative and, perhaps, unpopular idea; building sophisticated products and taking the time to optimize them; developing and training a new channel of diverse dealers who, at first, are more skeptical than receptive; and being around five years later to share and grow that original vision may be damn near impossible.
So hats off to Control4, which celebrates its fifth anniversary and its fifth CEDIA EXPO this year. The amazing thing is that the key to CEO Will West’s mission statement, as well as the company mantra—“Home Control For the Masses”—has become more of a reality each year. A lot of that depends, of course, on your definition of “masses.” But no one can argue that the affordability, ease of use and acceptance of installed solutions is now within reach of more and more people.
That was West’s vision, and he stuck to it no matter how many custom installers originally sneered at it. This was the same group that swore they’d never integrate iPods into their precious sound systems; that turned their backs on any new technology that wasn’t proprietary and didn’t cost a king’s ransom to program; that refused any customer that wasn’t interested in a system that cost at least $50,000.