I’m Betting on Control4

Previously I blogged about revamping the home control and entertainment system in my home. I decided to go with Control4. I mean REALLY go with Control4.

First, I’ve been having a professional premium smart home installer (Wipliance) completely revamp my home with Control4 products.

Second, I’ve decided to join Control4 as Senior Vice President of all their products and services. See the press release here.

The home project is almost complete. All that’s left for Wipliance to wrap up are a few edge-case devices and some programming. Oh, and the theater isn’t done as we decided to replace the carpet at the same time, and part of that install got goofed up (my fault).

I went with 148 intelligent lighting loads controlled by Control4’s panelized lighting, 52 Control4 keypads, five rooms of Multi-room 4K video including an Atmos home theater setup, 10 zones of Multi-Room audio using Triad amplifiers and speakers, two Control4 door stations, 15 Pakedge cameras, 9 Control4 smart thermostats, five Pakedge wireless access points, a host of Pakedge gigabit switches, and more. My fireplaces and the air compressor in my garage are all controlled by Control4 too. My network has 98 IP devices 58 Zigbee devices.

2018-07-27 07.50.52-2

Via Control4’s fantastic Alexa skill, Alexa can control 157 individual lights and 41 scenes. We can use touchscreens, phones, and voice to control all 15 (10 audio, 5 audio and video) media zones (“Alexa, turn up the volume on the patio”). My wife can use voice to raise the temperature in 9 spaces. Control4 doesn’t yet support the Alexa Smart Home Camera Skill API, but I suspect that will change <g>.

2018-07-27 08.06.10

In case you are not familiar with Control4, the company’s mission is to be both the solution and platform-ecosystem leader for premium automation and networking for the connected-home market. Control4 builds and sells over a hundred products under three brands: Control4 (Intelligent Lighting, Multi-room video distribution, A/V Communication and Intercom devices, and automation controllers), Triad (Premium multi-room audio amplifiers, switchers, and speakers), and Pakedge (professional-grade routers, switches, wireless access points, and network management).

I’m excited about all this (both my kick-ass home and my new job). The team is amazing and I’m looking forward to learning how to get stuff done at a much smaller public company. I’m also intrigued and a little scared to be taking on such a broad portfolio of products. I’m known for building and shipping more singular products and platforms. In this role I’ll be responsible for dozens of products across multiple domains.Control4 BrandsThe company is firing on all cylinders with 16% compounded growth rate over the past 5 years. It’s profitable and public for five years with no debt. The average Control4 home orchestrates more than 42 connected-devices, with the top 10% of home orchestrating more than 180.

Control4 stands out for its continued growth because our solutions and platform enable reliable, useful, and compelling smart home experiences – from a single room, to the most luxurious and comprehensive of homes, as well as tens-of-thousands of guestrooms at premium hotels (Cosmo, Montage, Aria).

2018-07-27 07.38.42During my time at Amazon, I witnessed the explosive growth in the Smart Home – voice, the most natural interface for the home, has driven consumer demand and acceptance. The problem is, getting all those individual products to work together – throughout the entire home is work typical home owners just don’t want to do. There’s too much fragility and complexity for normal folks to deal with.

For the past 16 years I did everything myself: multi-room audio, smart lighting, smart sprinklers, whole home security, and automation. Even for me, it was a second fulltime job to make all that really work. I’m absolutely convinced that the only way normal people will be able to really enjoy the benefits of a whole-home smart home is with professional help (see my blog post from earlier this year titled Concierge Home Technology).

Control4 has a full line of premium smart home products designed to work together and 5000 independently dealer/integrators who take the hassle out of design and installation of personalized solutions (like my home). The platform works with over 12,000 3rd party products and I believe the Control4 ecosystem is the most expansive in the premium smart home industry. Along with a culture of customer obsession, these assets combine to make having a true smart home easier than anyone else – and more comprehensively simple.

I am also excited about the opportunity to deliver new experiences to the Control4 dealer. I’ve recognized the importance of the professional integrator and his/her role in delivering reliable and compelling experiences for homeowners. I’m keen on empowering an expanding number of Control4 dealers with new tools and products to help drive experience, efficiency, and business profitability. I have very relevant experience building customer and developer communities at both Amazon and Microsoft.2018-07-27 07.54.42

Control4 is growing and we have many great roles open. For example, I’m immediately looking to hire a Head of Hardware Engineering and a Software Development leader for mobile and GUI. We are also hiring a Sr. Director of Product Management for Lighting. Click here to see what other roles we’re hiring for.

Now that I have pros configuring and managing my home systems, I plan on spending more time blogging about how we USE our home. Check back!

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

11 comments


  1. First!

    Kidding. But I do get to be first on this post to welcome you to the joy and madness of working at Control4, Charlie. This will be fun!

  2. Welcome Aboard!

  3. Andrew Clark

    Great move. Smart bet.

  4. Ben Reierson

    I am a great admirer of your work. That said, when I see systems and home of this complexity, and the work/money/tech put into to making them ‘simple’, I honestly just can’t get past my initial reaction of “… but why?”
    But congrats on continuing to enjoy your work and life.

    • Andrew Clark

      Ben,

      “But why?”

      TLDR:
      It’s awesome and for everyone. You’ll see.

      Control4 is to home living and entertainment what Tesla is to vehicles and transportation. (Notice I didn’t say ‘driving’)

      Most knee-jerk reactions are similar to yours. Some say it’s downright stupid and ridiculous. “Who is sooo lazy they can’t get up and open their blinds?”

      That’s expected because the context of most people for the last 100 years is a manually-managed 1-2,000 sqft living space.
      Once you exceed 2,500 sqft, you’re dealing with 2-3 levels and over 25 rooms/spaces.

      Now, imagine living in a 5, 10 or 15,000 Sqft home. How many rooms? Dont forget decks, porches, driveways, landscaping, pool house, pool, spa, guest house, workshop and detatched garages. What about your winter ski lodge and summer homes? Cabin? That’s a lot of space management. You’d need staff.

      Time is money.
      When you have money,
      TIME IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET. Convenience is everything and peace-of-mind doesn’t hurt.

      An investment of $3-6% of your home’s value is a pittace for the CONVENIENCE of monitoring and controlling every device in your home…from your phone…from anywhere in the world…with ONE APP.
      Lights
      Blinds/Shades
      Multiroom Audio/Video
      Intercom (Anywhere)
      Security/Cameras/Locks
      HVAC
      Humidity
      Pool/Spa
      Thousands of devices and sensors
      Scenes

      Now let’s go one step further. Leave your phone in your pocket and don’t lift a finger. Every device in your home responds to your VOICE and immediately does whatever you tell it.

      Now let’s leap forward into AUTOMATION.
      Just go about your life and your home responds to the time of day, the weather, to YOU. Lights gracefully come on and turn off as you enter and leave rooms. Thermostat keeps everything just right. Doors lock and unlock, shades close at dusk, request any song, show or playlist to play in any room or all rooms.
      No touching switching flipping swiping no launching an app. Just living.

      Home automation is for EVERYONE. Professional home automation is becoming standard for larger homes but I couldn’t live without Control4 in my sub 2,000 sqft ’Hobbit’ home.

  5. Great read, my wife and I just bought a new home and are leaning towards this product to automate and centralize our technology.
    Fun to read and see what others are doing with this product for ideas in our early stages of this project.

  6. This is awesome Charlie! Been following your move away from Amazon and couldn’t be happier for you. You have some awesome hobbies and live in my favorite place on earth. Good luck! – Adam Greco

  7. Brett Krause

    Welcome aboard, I hope that you will also enhance the Google Home experience for Control4 users.

  8. Chuck Lyons

    Congrats, Charlie!

    Alexa redefined Home Automation from the X-10 days of yesteryear to the Smart Home of today.

    Although freeing myself up from the pressures of LRPs, Sales, and Milestones, I have been thinking of going down the path of a having a pro do what I have dabbled with for a number of years.

    Your move (moves?) is firming up that decision …

  9. Charlie, Congrats! It will be great to have you on board at Control4.

  10. Been following your move away from Amazon and couldn’t be happier for you or what?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.