Back in October 2012, MIT’s Sloan School of Management selected Leap Motion as their case study company. These entrepreneurial students committed to following and evaluating Leap Motion over the course of their academic year, and I’ve just returned from their final presentations. It was an amazing trip, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank MIT for their hard work and insights about Leap Motion.
It’s a very cool honor for us at Leap Motion to be selected as a case study project by one of the finest technology schools in the world. Recent companies MIT selected have included Lytro and Groupon. We have been more than happy to endorse the effort by Professor Scott Stern and his assistants and answer their questions over the past year.
The MIT folks met with Leap Motion in various settings (at the Leap Bunker in San Francisco, during our SxSW visit to Austin, and on MIT’s campus) to track our progress and better understand our product, people, passion and overall go-to-market strategies. The culmination of this academic year of effort was the Leap Motion case study and final exam last week. The students assessed Leap Motion in all phases of the business and made strategy recommendations.
I headed to Boston (also my home town) for their presentations. Over the past year working with these smart students, I’ve learned they can be tough. So as I entered the hallowed ground of MIT to face the class on the last day of the school year, I prepared myself for some hard questions and criticisms.
The sessions were very interactive, with the students questioning our IP strategy, developer plan, go-to-market roll-out and marketing moves. They then posed their own suggestions for Leap Motion to consider – giving us a lot of food for thought. We really appreciate the analysis, input and advice from these great minds.
Overall, the students really appreciated the genuine message Leap Motion has conveyed, and the accessibility of the $79.99 price point. Their presentations echoed our key focus of nurturing the developer community, and they loved our significant investment to send 10,000 free devices to developers: the “core engine” of Leap’s potential success.
A lot of folks had wished we started with tablets and smartphones (we’ve heard many questions from our community about future moves into those platforms, and they’re on the road map). But overall the students understood the distribution strategy of our decision to partner with global PC manufacturers, like HP, where Leap Motion can make an immediate impact on brand perception and sales for the industry. It also allows for easier consumer adoption, as the Leap Motion Controller works with existing devices to augment the current input options available.
Their research couldn’t fully encompass Leap Motion without having Leap Motion Controllers, so we provided the class with devices and access to our SDK. Students spent months developing on the platform and relayed their experiences building apps for Leap Motion and leveraging our SDK. Their insights offered lots of learnings that I’ve taken back to co-founder David Holz, the crew in engineering and Avi and Kiwi in Developer Community Relations.
Overall, the students couldn’t wait for us to launch (me too). They were eager to see browsing (check out the Windows video we shared on Monday) and explore the diversity of apps that will be in Airspace when we launch. They also expressed lots of interest to see CAD, music creation and gaming apps in Airspace. I think they will be pleased when we ship in July, and I hope they – and you – will share your thoughts about the apps and the user experience.
Overall, it was a blast! My thanks again to the MIT students and Professor Stern for all the time and thoughtful analysis they put into the Leap Motion case study. Hopefully we will look back at your work in a few years through the lens of a successful company, and see what predicted victories and missteps actually came to fruition. Best of luck and congratulations to the Class of 2013.
And to recent grads and other talented people, we’re always looking for great new hires so check out our job listings: https://www.leapmotion.com/careers