In 2015, my friends and I started our first startup, which is to build a smart oven called Fun Oven.
We had a huge vision. We wanted to build an oven that cooks by itself with minimal human interaction; like an iRobot for baking. With a built-in camera, a digital scale, and AI technology, it can recognize the food inside and it will cook automatically according to the digital recipes downloaded from our server. That was not enough, We also wanted to build a digital community that gathers thousands of bakers together. On the platform, people can design recipes, share their videos, and all those UGC stuffs. We could also use the big data to train the oven to become smarter and improve our business strategy.
In the startup, I was responsible for everything related to software development, including but not limited to designing software (for the oven and mobile apps), hiring programmers, testing, and project management. It was the first time I do all those things, and I need to learn everything from scratch. I also grew a lot from dealing with painful events like politics, conflicts, catching deadlines, and complex technical issues (tons of them).
To make the story short, we almost fail the project, but we managed to push through all the obstacles and finished the first version. However, our team had fallen apart and was no longer interested in moving the project forward. Luckily, our major investor, Midea Group wanted to buy out the project before its launch. So we ended up selling the project for roughly one million US dollars and exited. Everyone was happy.
I wrote this post spontaneously so the story is incomplete. If you are interested to head more, please leave your comment below. In the future, I might update this post with more interesting stories like how I used my music production skill and Ableton Live (a music-making software) to design sound effects that make the crappy sound system of the oven sounds beautiful (trailer: the available memory of the motherboard had less than 1MB). I also need some time searching for the old files of the project I saved somewhere in the backup drive.
For now, here are some pictures of the project.
The advertisment video