Hipster Startup to Crush Caveman Alarm Companies

By Brian Rhodes, Published Feb 24, 2013, 12:00am EST (Info+)

A Chicago startup who you have never heard of is threatening to crush your alarm business, viewing you as a 'caveman'. The company, Scout, is a DIY product that is fully specified, installed, and configured by end users. They claims cutting alarm companies out of the picture is a huge benefit: even portraying them as Cro-Magnon beasts that lack style and skill when designing systems, eventually forcing customers into 36 month contracts, POTS land-lines, and intruding installers. The promotional screencap below makes plain Scout's disdain for traditional alarm companies and their products:

,

Who ** *****?

***** ******** ** ***** *****, ***-******* ******* company, ********* ****** ** * ******* Capital ****/*********, ****** **********, **** ** previous ********** [**** ** ****** *********] in ******** ********. *** ******* ******* ** name *** *** *** ********** **** in *** **** ******.

****** **** **** ************ ******* ******* like*****************, ***** ****** ******** ****** *** the *******, **** $***,*** *** *****. The ******* ** ******* **** '***** adopter ****' **** *** ******* *****-******* offerings ************** *** *** **** ********** *********.

** *** **** *****, *** ******* is ***** ** ******* ******** ** major ********** **** ************ ********* *********************. ****, *** ******* *** * slick ********* *****:

Product ********

  • **** *******: *** ******* '**** ***' *****, this********* **** ******** * ******'* ******** sensors. *** **** ******* ** ******** for **** ******, *** **** ** connected ** ** ******** ********* ******. The **** ******* ***** ***** ************* to ***** *** **** ** ** optional *** ******.
  • **** *****:** **** ** * ******* ******, a ***** **** *******/**** ****** ** placed ** **** *******. ***** ***/****** the ****** ***** ****** ****** **** and *** **** *****, ***** ******** a ** ** *********** *****. *** unit ******* ******** *" * *" x *.**"
  • ****/***** ******:*** '********' ****** *** *****, *******, and ******** ******* ******** *.*" * 2" * *.**". *** ******** ****** sensors
  • ****** ******: *** *** **** *** * claimed ******** ***** ** **' - 30', *** *** ** ******* ** either **** ** ******* ***** ***********.

***** ** ********* ** **** ***** components:

*** ******* *** ********, ******* ******* devices **** ** ****** ** ******** or ******** ********. *** ****/***** ******* are ******* ** ******** ********** *********, the **** ***** *** ****** ******* via ******** **** * **** *****. The ****** ****** ******** ** ****** free-standing ***** *** ********* ** ******* or ***********. *** ******* ********* **** other ****** *****, ********* *****-*****, *****, and ** ******* *** ***** ******* for *** ******.

Pricing

*** *******'* ******* ** ****** "***-******" for ****** ********** ******* ******* ******* $120 *** $*** [**** ** ****** available] *** *** ******* *****. ***** pricing ******, *** ** ********* *** being ************ ********* ** *** ****'* specification. *** ******* *** *** ******** pricing ****** *** ***-***** ******.

How ** ******* **** ***** *** *******

*********, ******, ***** ** *** *** first *** ***** ****** ** *** market. *******, *** ******** *** * few ********* ***********:

  • ****** *******:**** *** ********* ******* *** ***** keypads **** ** ******* ***-*** ***-** hardware *** ******** ******* *** ****** or *** **********.
  • ***** *****/****** *****: **** * ****** *******, *****'* total ****** ***** ******* ***. **** DIY ********* **** * ***** ****** or *******, **** ********** **** **** 32 *****.
  • *** *******: ******* *** ******* ***** ******* a **** ******** *** ****** *******, IF **** **** ******* **********. ***** includes ** ******** *** *********, *** does *** ******* ***** **** ***** only *** ***** ***.

*** ********** ******** ******* ***** *** other ****-********* ***** *********, *** *** "*** ***** **** ********" ******.

Scout ********

*** *******'* ************** ******** ** *** alarms ******** ****** **** ******** ******** compared ** ********* ********* *******:

  • **** ** *******: *** ****** **** *** ******* wiring *** ******* ** *** **** station, *** ******* *** ** ******* placed ***** ******** *******. **** ** users **** ** ****** ** ******** sensors, **** *** ** ****** ******* and ******* ***** ******.
  • *******: ******* ******** ******* '****** ***** boxes', ***** ****** ******* ** * range ** ****** ***** *******, ******* black, *****, *** **** *****. ***** places * *********** ********* ******** ** 'cool ******', ****** ***** ** * 'sleek' *******-******** ******.
  • ****** **********: *** **** ** *****'* ******** keys ** *** **** ************* ** mobile *********** *** *******. *** ********* system ** ********* *************, *****/********, *** notifies ***** ******** *** ******. ****** 'traditional' ******, ***** ******** *** ******* and ****.
  • **** *******/**********: ***** *** ********* ******* *********** are '**** ***********', ********* ***** ********* are ********* ** **** ******* ******* monitoring ********* ** ** **** ****** revenues. **** ******** ** '****-******* *** full ********* *** ***** ***** **** be **** ** *****, ***** ********* to ********* ** *******. ***** ********* 'free' ************ ***** *** *********** ********* to **** ** **** ***** ******* incumbent ***** ****** *****. ** ********** noted, *** ******* *** ***** *** a ********* ******, *** ******* ** expected ** **** ***** '******' *****, in **** *** ** ** ********* equipment ***** ***** **** **** *** monthly *******.

Potential ********

*******, **** *** ************** ********, **** weaknesses **** ** *** ****** ** carefully **********:

  • ******* ****: * **** ******** ** * wireless ****** ** *** ******** ** battery *****. **** ******* ** ********* in *****'* **** **** "** ****** the ********* ** **** *** ** 12 ****** **** ******* ***." ** industry *********, **** **** ****** ** much ******* **** *** ******* ** to ** ***** ******** **** ******* recommend. ** ***** ***** ** ******* this *****, ** ***** **** *********"***, *-** ****** ** * ************ estimate ** *** ******* ****. **'** heard * ******* ** *** ***** for *** ****** **** ** ***** Scout *** ** ***'* **** ** over-promise."***** ******* ****** *** *********, *** cost ** *********** ********* ***** ****** could ***** ***********.
  • **** ************: *** ** *** *** '********' also ***** * *** ****. ***** sensor ********* ** *** * ****** skil, *** ****** ****** ********* ** well ********** *** ****** **** ******** range ** *** ****** ****** *** well **********, ** ** ******** **** installer ***** ***** ********** ** ***** alarms ** *** ********** **** ******. Whether ** *** **** *** '*******', professional ***** ****** ********** *** ******* to **** *** ****** *** ****** placement ** ******* *** **** ******.
  • ****-*** *******: ***** *** ******* ****** *** stylizing ** *** ******* *** '***', they *** *** **** ********** *** detection **** ***** ******* **** **** for *******. ***** ** ******* ****** about ******* ******* ** *** ****** sensors, *** ******* ****** ** *** contrary, ***** ****** *** ****** ** deliver ******* ****** **** * ******* incumbent ****** ********.
  • ***********: *****, * *** ******* **** is * *********** *** ****. ***** a ******* ********** ******** ** ******* on ** ****, ** **** ******* vigilant, *** ***** ***********. **** **** unmonitored, ***** ****** ** *** *** user ** ******* ** *** ****** or ** ******** ** *********** ** unable. * ********** ******* ******** ***** features ******* ******* ************ ** *** user.

Competitive **********

* ****** ****** **** ** ********* alarm ********* ** ** '*** ********' by ********** *** **** ** ********* over *** ****** ** ** ** more ******. ***** * ****** *** cost $** ** ********* *******, *** mandatory ********** ******** *** ***** ******* $40 *** $*** ** ******* *** most *****.

**** *****, *** *** **** *** choose ** ******** ********* ** *****, and *** ** ********** **** ** the *******. ***** *** *** ** formalize ******* ** ********** ********, *** expects ******* ** **** ****** $** and ******* ** ********** *** ********** in *** **** *******.

* ******** *** **** ********* ** dollars **** *** ****** ** * typical ********** ******** ** ***** *****. However, ** ** ******** ********* ** our "*** ******** *********** *********" ******, ** ***** ** ******* of ** ****** *** **** ***** incumbent ***** ******* ** ***** **** on ********* *** ************ *****.

**** *****, *** **** ** ******** on *** ***-********* *** ** *** equipment ***** ******* ** ***** * clear ********* ** *********-********* ***** *******. While *** ******* ** ***** ** be * **** **** ******* **** alternatives ***** * *** ** ***** months, ****** ****** *********** **** ** effective. ***** *** ******* *** *** yet **** ********, ** ****** **** performance.

[UPDATE] ******* ******

*****'* ******* ******* ******* **** **** delayed, ******* **** ******* ********* **** the ****** **. *** ******* *** apologized *** *** ******** ******* ***** starting *** *********** ********, *** *** described ****** ******* ********* ***-**** *********** resources ** ******* *** ******** ** market. **** * **** ****** [**** no ****** *********]:

"*** ***** ** ****, ** *** first *** ****** ********* *** ***-***** campaign, ** **** ****** ** ********* that **** ******** *** *** ******* development ** *****. ***** ** ****’* charging ****** ***** ***** ** **** the ***** ****** ** ***, ** had ** **** * *** ** replace ***** *********. ** **** **** the ****** *** ***** *** ****, but ********* *** ********* ** ****** to ***** ***** ** ****** **** time. ** **** *** ****** **** we *** *****. *** ****, ** truly *********.

*** ******* **** ** ** ******* the ***** ** ***********:

"**’** ****’* ********** * *** ********** ship **** ** **** ****, *** are ******* ** *** **** *********** ironed *** ** **** ** ********. The ***** **** ** ******** ** months, *** *****, *************."

***** ************ ** *** ***** ** high, **** ***** ***** ** * big **** ** * ****** ******* with *********** ********* (***:******). ** **** ****** **** **** as ******* *** ******** ***** ****** clear.

Comments (3)

I don't know if this company has what it takes to be a major player but this segment is ripe for the picking of Silicon Valley startups.

While the alarm business might be the lowest tech segment of physical/electronic security systems, they are the most profitable, with profit margins and consistent revenue levels that are the envy of almost all surveillance manufacturers.

There are two very exploitable elements for traditional alarm businesses:

  • Dependency on human based sales
  • Requirement for sizeable monthly monitoring fees

Though there are certainly benefits to each, the Internet is increasibly enabling selling and monitoring directly via the Internet, disintermediating physical sales and third party monitoring.

This strikes me as a classic low end disruption. While it might take a decade to go mainstream, bit by bit, these new entrants will improve and move upward, gaining traction with the combination of low cost, low pressure offers and maturing Internet technologies.

This product sounds interesting. I am going to keep an eye on it to see how it plays out. I am not sure how even early adapters, as myself, would be comfortable installing sensors in doors and windows.

I read recently about new DIY alarm offering by SAFE security. Apparently, they are well known.

It seems DIY but you still pay monthly for remote monitoring so kind of a hybrid.

Lets see what he has, it takes more than money to operate an alarm co. and managers can bankrupt a company very fast. Examples of this are the new start up national guardian started , sold to Stanley security solutions .

Cavemen at least have experience, not ego filled executives. Hope they have deep pockets, and know how to ride the storm.

Survival at start up is 95% failure in 1st 3 years , 98% in the 1st 5 years . Money never teaches experience, and good experience cost good money. Look up US statistics on business failures to prove this fact .

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