By Rebeka Shols, summer intern
Technology continues to make advances in our daily lives, making our simple everyday activities easier and more convenient for us. This very same transition is happening in the pet product industry with Obe’s ProBowl. This new invention helps you keep your dog fit and healthy by taking your dog’s profile and recommending the proper amount of food to feed it. The technology also lets you know whether or not your dog has already been fed by lighting up green or red. I had the privilege of interviewing the CEO of Obe, Hilary Jensen, and hearing a little bit more about her story. Here are some of the questions and answers:
Rebeka: Beyond what you have shared with the media up to date about you, Obe, and your innovation story, what other information would you like to share with the consumers, inventors, and other women entrepreneurs like yourself?
Hilary: When you’re looking at launching a product and a company, it’s a journey. There are a lot of ups and downs and having tenacity is super important. Also having the support of your family and friends.
Q: Knowing what you know now, regarding the process of inventing a consumer product, what part of the process where you most proud of?
Probably the initial design and the ideation. I hired a great industrial design firm and we were able to work for two months and create the thing that I envisioned. We then completed the design with Voler Systems and Fusion Design.
Q: What were you most surprised by during the process?
Honestly, hardware is hard. Although, it’s less expensive than it used to be, when we started it was still in the early days of IoT. It still feels like the beginning of the internet era did.
Q: What would you do differently?
All I can say is trust your gut.
Q: Where do you go from here regarding other product developments that you have in mind for your customer base?
First things first, doubling our market size by adding cats. Then, giving the full perspective of your pet, 360 degrees, by partnering with an activity tracker company. Also, focusing on how we use the data we’re collecting to create more targeted and personalized services to better serve pets and their parents.
Q: Where did the name Obe come from?
Obe is the core three letters of the letters of obesity and obedience. It sounded cute, but mostly we wanted to highlight our goal to diminish pet obesity problems.
I want to thank Hilary for her time. She clearly has a couple of tricks up her sleeve and I’m excited to see which direction Obe will be heading next!