5 Minutes With New Hubitat CEO/President Greg Toth

Greg Toth brings decades of experience in the home services, technology and outsourcing industries to Hubitat Inc. Most recently Greg served as CEO for Library Systems and Services, a for-profit outsourcing and technology company and is poised to lead Hubitat into the next phase of home and business automation.

Where do you see home automation having the biggest impact on people's lives in the next 5-10 years?
I think we will see a withdrawal in the market from some of the nonsensical “smart” products like we witnessed at the 2020 CES in Las Vegas. Consumers are going to tire quickly seeing the likes of smart cat litter boxes, smart hairdryers and smart potatoes (google it, it makes my point). The future is in proper home automation with users looking for ways to simplify their technology and make it more cohesive, adding to their quality of life. Fortunately, that’s the path Hubitat is on and will continue to pursue. The HA highway is littered with failed products and companies with poor business models. I believe building off our solid foundation and expanding our market reach strategically, continuous development of our technology and focusing on our customer experience will keep Hubitat on the top of the list for years to come.

What is one thing people should know about the Hubitat team that they don't already know?
The Hubitat team is incredibly talented and amazingly committed to our product and service. I know of no other company that works so hard on the continuous improvement of a product. Each team member takes personal ownership of their every situation, we communicate issues or opportunities across the company. Fixes, solutions or upgrade ideas come from cross functional discussions and problem solving. I am thrilled to be a part of this team, I feel inspired and driven to excel by their example.

You have 15 seconds to diffuse a bomb. Do you cut the red wire or blue wire?
All I know is, never cut the blue wire! That may be too obscure of a movie reference for some. Showing my age perhaps. (google that too)

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That's literally the purpose of CES in Las Vegas, which grows year after year, there doesn't appear to be any withdrawing anytime in the near future.

Ha! Not for a bunch of home automation gearheads - that would be Juggernaut!

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Good call

I think there’s some truth in that, but CES has always been about a mix of the cutting edge and the ridiculous. A lot of those products never make it to market. I don’t see that changing. When consumers start to tire of one thing manufacturers will pivot.

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Well the same reference is made in Lethal Weapon II...

Haven't seen it. Juggernaut was in the early '70s - and is stuck in my memory because it was the last movie in a theatre I watched with my grandfather.

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Lethal Weapon was in the 80's. Maybe it copied the reference then? Who knows.

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Agreed CES often highlights some "wacky" stuff. Some may just be trial balloons and some are someone's (misguided) idea of what might catch on.

As far as Hubitat, I'd like to put my $0.02 in for the following:

  • Stability/reliability. I have not been having problems but a fair number of users are having performance and reliability issues. IMO this must be of primary importance. I know the Hubitat engineering/development/support folks are looking at this - it really must be a top priority.

  • I would like to see Hubitat work with more vendors in the environmental monitoring space. The team has recently added a gas vapor detector driver . . . I would like to see some integration with air quality monitors (as well as keeping up with fire, smoke, CO). This week I was able to integrate my Kidde smoke alarms more completely with HSM because the recent release included a Virtual Smoke Detector. Good job team!

  • Rule Machine is amazingly powerful but I still find it very difficult to use. Anything that can be done to give us that level of power and flexibility with a more intuitive interface would be, IMO, a big plus.

  • Adding devices is still sometimes difficult and frustrating. I compare it (unfairly, I might add) to the process to add a new device to my Lutron Caseta system (I added two more two-button Picos this week). I realize Lutron Caseta is a completely closed and narrowly scoped environment when it comes to device support, nonetheless the process to add devices should be improved to make it considerably more user friendly and reliable. Adding devices is one of the first things a new user will do with the system, it should put a smile on their face.

  • Migration tools (for hub upgrades). Eventually Hubitat will need to make a technical "leap" with the hub hardware. By then (or hopefully before) it will be necessary to have some way to move the devices as well as the user's configuration information to a new hardware platform. It would be excellent if this same mechanism could be used by users to setup a backup system (a configured standby system).

Thanks to the whole team for their commitment to this product and their customers.

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Hopefully some light can be shed by the new CEO on exactly this as it relates to Hubitat. There are regularly new users posting concerns with how the company generates enough revenue to thrive on only $80 hub sales.

Also, painting a picture of what exactly would happen if Hubitat became another number in regards to functionality of our hubs would be great and help many of us with the large investments we make into our systems.

We would likely lose all our cloud based functionality like the mobile app and dashboard right? Could private home servers be set up that the mobile app could be redirected to so we would still have mobile dashboards? Would code be released open source so the user community could keep the product alive?

Pretty sure it’s the matrix? Cut the red wire and you leave your reality ... :wink: Thanks for the movie recommendation, @aaiyar!

Totally, but at the same time, I wish there were more products like Quirky was producing :confused: As someone who owned 8 eggminders (I gave four away, don’t worry) there’s definitely a place for smart monitoring gear that also looks nice. The Porkfolio was also fun—and I was hoping to tie it into some goofy routines at our office as a swear jar. Oh well!

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Yes. Just before Quirky and Wink split, Brian Kauffman said in an online interview (can't find it now) that Quirky was evaluating a smart milk monitor. I would love something like that ....

One of their coolest inventions (in theory) that never realized its potential was the Nimbus. That was >6 years ago, and still don't have anything like it in the marketplace.

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This, in my humble opinion, should be the initial focus. My opinion is coming from the POV of one of your initial supporters and champions. I have recommended this hub to countless friends in real life and those on message boards I frequent. Unfortunately my 2 hubs are now offline because I could not trust their stability. I have spent countless hours away from my family troubleshooting these intermittent issues and feel like my hand was forced in retiring both my hubs (temporarily is my hope).

I say none of this in anger (frustration, yes) but with a hope that this particular arena will become a focal point going forward. The fact that I retired my hub months ago but still frequent this forum regularly is a testament to the strength of this community and the faith I have that the tireless, committed and engaged members of the HE team will solve this issue.

I truly look forward to the day when I can dust off my C3 and C4 hubs and return wholeheartedly to using Hubitat as my primary HA hub.

Yours Patiently and Optimistically,
Stephan

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I know I've been railing a bit against the long term use of cloud services but it's probably in Hubitat's best financial interest to offer some... and I would really like for them to stick around a while.

I guess I would not mind paying a subscription fee for cloud access to my hubitat(s) along with notification / location services. Other things could be weather access, alarm services etc. If they could somehow provide the gateway for cloud services that would be cool - a roku of IoT of sorts...:wink:

Anything that enhances the product but can be removed without losing core functionality.

That was red/blue pills

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Correct! Its from Juggernaut.

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Right—It was a bad attempt at a joke :wink:

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Oh my gosh. I loved the Nimbus. There are some products that kind of rhyme with this out there, but the car-dashboard look was pretty slick.

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Welcome @GregT. Nice to see you on the community forums!

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I agree, the next big thing will be at the 2021 show..

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