Occasionally I will use this space to tell you about a company I really like. It may or may not be an RRE investment;  there are lots of things that we like that we don’t get to invest in.  Nevertheless, I feel that one of my responsibilities as an investor in this community is to support those companies and teams that I think are doing great work

One such company is goTenna.  John Levy, one of the company’s board members, is an old friend and we share a deep belief in what I’ve come to call the New Hardware. I will say more about the New Hardware in an upcoming post. goTenna has created a private, free, peer-to-peer communications network that operates in unlicensed spectrum without any central infrastructure. This network can be used as an alternative channel when you have little to no network coverage, such as in the backcountry, in a crowded concert venue, or in an emergency situation. Or, in a situation where you just want a completely secure private network connection. Most impressive is the way they’ve done it – CEO Daniela Pedromo and her brother and co-founder, Jorge, have put together an incredibly capable small team of hardware hackers and network software developers. They’ve made great choices about what capabilities to build in-house and what they could do with outside partners that know how to work with early-stage companies.  And they’ve done it with very little capital. goTenna blew through their pre-sales forecasts and the diversity of their initial customers is striking. I’m excited to see their sales launch later this year.

It’s the kind of clear, focused product effort that we don’t see enough of. goTenna typifies the lightweight approach to product development and go-to market strategy that is critical for today’s hardware companies. I think goTenna is going to do some amazing stuff this year and I encourage you to follow their story.