Send Linus free Hubitats ASAP!

I love Hubitat Elevation despite my difficulties with it (my fault, I'm not extremely technical), and I see it's come a long way since the beginning, but is slowly gaining its footing. Where it has yet to gain its footing (and understandably so, not a priority) is in Marketing!

Relatedly, as some of you may know, Linus Sebastian for Linus Tech Tips (I'm sure most if not all people on here know who he is) is moving to a new home, building everything from scratch, including his Smarthome system! He's getting in-depth with his videos, planning and documenting every single gadget installed in that house, even going as far using Raspberry Pis as controllers for various situations (sound familiar?)

If I were in the HE Marketing Team, and noticed one of the biggest YouTubers in the tech segment is building a smart home system, I'd immediately start throwing products his way! All you need is 5 Hubitat and 1-year's worth of Subscription! It's a bit of a shot in the dark, but it has a low-value/high-reward situation (lose $500 worth of HE vs A high-profile mentioning repeatedly how great your product is each time they make a video on the matter).

If you watch some of his videos on the topic, you'll notice he goes a long way around to fix an issue that would easily be fixed with some Hubitat features (such as the virtual switch!). If you're more technical than I am, I'm sure you can find more!

Hubitat Staff, if the LTT team is not aware of Hubitat Elevation yet, this is the moment to make them aware!

Just write a thoughtful note on how you believe you're gonna make his life easier and cheaper (which you are), and you're off to the races!

I hope you take this feedback sincerely and strongly consider it.

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While it's a good idea I'm sure due to filming and editing time that he is already fully moved in.

Still a good idea to reach out though.

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I'm not sure specifically about Linus, but some videos on Youtube take less than a week to write, plan, shoot, post and publish. The review videos for sure take more than that, but vlog content like this? Probably will take less than a fortnight. And if you see at the magnitude of the project, it seems like it'll be something ongoing for a bit.

Hopefully we're still on time!

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I mean he's running HA isn't he? Especially after the big GE driver debacle... Not sure he'd wanna try something else.

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Many of us still find ways of achieving this with HE :rofl: :rofl: It's not easy some times, but possible....

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I think that on the surface it sounds good but it probably a horrible idea.

These guys know nothing about home automation systems, but act like they do. They are in way over their head with this project, and need some expert advice and an expert installer to fix this disaster.

Instead of being Jasco and Home Assistant that is causing the issue, it would turn to Hubitat being the cause of any issues. The publicity would be great if it worked, but too risky knowing the current circumstances of this build.

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Zero chance of this working out well. Even their initial issues with the motion switches from Jasco arose from a fundamental lack of understanding of how motion sensors work, and motion automations should be written. Firmware had very little to do with it.

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I think Home Assistant needs to take some of the blame here. I do think those guys lack a lot of understanding, but if you watch those videos, the way HA handles things out of the box isn't great. It appears that the Linus team had to mess with switch configuration and a bunch of off-the-wall stuff that isn't necessary in most hubs. The whole HA ecosystem is not really meant for beginners, and expecting it to work like a Wink hub where you just blindly pair stuff and it automagically works isn't realistic here.

Agree completely here. I think they were rushing into things and had an impossibly short timeline to learn both Z-wave and HA, install everything, and make this all work on a house that size, while filming and producing a video that had to go out that week.

My house is a fraction of the size of his (mine is only 1200 sqft), and it took a LONG time to install a couple dozen (each) wall switches, motion sensors, virtual switches, and buttons and tie it all together with rules to work the way I wanted it to.

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Agreed.

The GUI automation editor doesn't work well by itself for the types of automation they needed. They would have been better off learning YAML to create their automations, but YAML has a learning curve. They could have also used Node-RED, but that also has a huge learning curve.

In contrast Hubitat's motion lighting or room lighting apps would have met their needs satisfactorily, but this platform would have been blamed for all the hiccups along the way that can be anticipated with such a large installation - like z-wave ghosts.

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My observation of Hubitat's current situation, which is quite likely wrong... would be that they have 3 main types of people coming to their platform

  • Those who have a high degree of technical ability and have done the necessary research to understand HE provides the flexibility they want
  • People who have deserted or been forced to move from their current HA platform
  • People who have received a recommendation from someone already using HE

Obviously there are exceptions.... :slight_smile:

None of these people need a commercial identity to push them in this direction, some may even see it as a disincentive. I expect, like me, the strong Community and engagement with the owners and developers in the company is a bigger drawcard than confirmation from those in the media.

That said, I am not entirely dismissive of the idea of essentially advertising the HE platform. I guess my own hesitation, if I was in marketing, and thankfully I am not in charge :slight_smile:, would be to hold fire until the entry into using the HE product is at least closer to the more commercialised systems the average consumer is used to setting up. That comment is a rabbit-hole of it's own, I know, and I have no answers for how to achieve what I am proposing, but at least for now, it feels like it is still a steep curve for new users to climb to start advertising en-masse. Just my 2c.... By no means a "doom and gloom" prediction... Just "not yet"....

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What if Hubitat created a new "dumbed" down version of it's software. More pictographs, simple choices, etc to help bring in the masses. This would run alongside the existing more powerful version. While Hubitat is simpler than Home Assistant I believe both are well beyond the capabilities of the majority of people looking into smart home devices.

If you don't believe me take a stroll into smarthome or home automation sub reddits. Vast swaths of the users still don't understand mixing and matching protocols, hubs,app control, issues with cloud vs local, or anything really.

Sadly, and this is no slight on HE, I would argue the minefield of protocols and third-party platforms will still play a part in the complexity for users at the moment, regardless of the software. I also expect to produce a "dumbed-down" version would more likely involve a re-write, if they were to take it beyond the leaps they have made with some of the simpler apps introduced since I started 3 years ago, or those who started 6-12 months before me.

Again, I would qualify my comment by saying the idea is entirely where I was heading as well, it comes more down to the how rather than the why. Simplifying Home Automation I feel is both a goal and a significant challenge.

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I'd also say marketing can be very expensive. I really don't see any advertising for HE, it seems mostly to be word of mouth with the occasional blurb in an article. I wish they would advertise more, but like I said, that can be expensive

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The users who transition to Hubitat with the least issues that require support from Hubitat Inc. are those who have cut their teeth on some other system for at least a couple years.

Dumbing the interface down to bring in the hordes will dramatically increase support costs. Already, there are posts requesting an 800 number for support.

In one particular instance, the user had an "unused" z-wave switch (not z-wave+), and was performing a "factory reset" using a procedure from a manual for a more recent z-wave+ switch (noticed by @Tony). Naturally, the switch wouldn't pair (or enter pairing mode), which convinced the user that the hub had defective radios. Can you imagine how much time it would have taken a support agent to work all this out over the phone?

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I understand all of that, but what I am saying is incorporating a graphics interface to go along with the tools we now have. I guess it's really up to the goals of the Hubitat team. Do they want to grow and see if this ecosystem can compete with the big boys or do they want to stay niche. Either plan is fine, with growth comes a lot of pain, maybe theirs happy as things are.

My biggest concern is the revenue stream. I can't imagine it's making anybody much money. How can Hubitat generate more profit to ensure it's survival is what I am getting at.

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I think they're taking the "Slow and stead wins the race" way of doing things instead of "Spend spend spend ahead of profits and maintainability" route like so many other companies do/have done.

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Staff have indicated in this past there are other revenue streams, beyond what we are exposed to as individual hub owners.

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I think we have seen to many HA companies just fold up over night. Hubitat seems to be taking things very careful to not over stretch to were it may be hard to recover from.

Ofcourse I would love to see them get in more homes, but I would also prefer they gradually become the defacto HA environment.

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I think all of us have had this concern at one point or another, I know I did.

Here's the thing, unlike other systems it doesn't really matter if the company folds, your setup will continue to work and might even be somewhat "upgradeable" via community supported stuff. Sure the hub won't be directly replaceable but you should have plenty of time to switch to something else should that happen..

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One other thing that springs to mind is that for many of the YouTube personalities, at least in HA, many of the reviews of products are still conducted over a relatively shortly timeframe or narrow use case. Some will do follow up reviews, but they will often provide comment after a very short period, and as I mentioned in my earlier posts, HA is complicated, and I'm referring to Home Automation more generally, not Home Assistant :slight_smile:. So a short time with any system is not likely to provide a meaningful review of how the system performs or integrates into peoples lives and homes, let alone the breadth of devices that may integrate with the platform.

Other factors can include how people more generally are only just starting to get their heads around smart homes, so to absorb and understand the impact of the contents of a review can also be daunting on it's own. The developers of these systems are also working out what works for people taking control of their home, so there is an element of trial and error in developing any new platform.

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