"It's the problem that was keeping me up at night," Nick Weaver said, explaining what made him start a business to fix everything that's slow, glitch-y, complicated, and exasperating about home Wi-Fi networks.
As far back as he can remember, Weaver has loved gadgets and loved simplifying. He once took a big red surge protector and plugged in every piece of gear involved in keeping his parent's house connected to the web. "So instead of having to go into the back of the cabinet and pull a bunch of different cords, my mom and dad just could hit one big red button, wait a minute, turn it back on, and the Internet would come back up."
In 2014, just four years out of college, Weaver joined two co-founders and started eero, a company that aimed to take Wi-Fi many, many, many steps beyond that big red surge protector. "We did anything we could to rip out the complexity and give you an experience that just works," said Weaver. They created a device that anyone could take out of the box and set up in minutes, a device that monitored its own performance and reset itself when necessary.
When eero debuted on Amazon Launchpad, customers bought thousands of home Wi-Fi systems in just six days. The crew at eero celebrated, and they even sent a bottle of champagne up the coast to the Amazon Launchpad team in Seattle. "They gave us a lot of support, and we just wanted to say thanks," Weaver said, remembering the excitement of that crucial first week. "Amazon Launchpad played a huge part in helping us reach so many customers and gain momentum early on."
Less than 10 months later, eero had more than 1,800 Amazon customer reviews with a 4.4 average rating. "We read every single Amazon review and really use that to hone the product," Weaver said, noting that reviewers inspired eero to add parental controls for pausing a kid's Internet access or setting it to shut off at a certain time each night.
When eero first teamed up with Amazon Launchpad, they had 35 employees. They've gone on to grow to more than 130 employees, as high ratings and strong sales boost their credibility with customers and investors alike. "But the reality is that we're still a relatively small team," Weaver said. "We're going up against public companies."
As eero grows, Weaver said they seek candidates with two key traits: curiosity and empathy. Curiosity because technology changes so fast that even experts need to keep learning to keep up. Empathy because employees who can put themselves in other people's shoes make better co-workers and take better care of customers.
"We've put in so much time, so much effort and interacted with our customers so much that we're continuing to make the product better and better and better," said Weaver. "I'm so proud of our team."