National Boss Day: Meet Morgan Walker
Today, we take the time to appreciate the individual/s who have helped to keep our heads up, who have become our mentors, and who have helped keep our spirits alive during an especially difficult workday: Happy National Boss’ Day!
We interviewed our favorite boss, Morgan Walker, to celebrate this day and learn more about Lynk Remote Technologies. Let’s learn more about how Morgan Walker, President of Lynk Remote Technologies, first started the company with a single partner and has grown it to a full team dedicated to its success.
Question 1: How did Lynk Remote Technologies come about?
Lynk Remote Technologies started in 2016 when we created the first-ever hangar door remote control that can be used via your smartphone. The idea for it started off as a simple need where there was no solution. After creating a prototype for a friend, and it wasn’t even a prototype, more of an actual product- we realized that we had the workings of a good technological communication structure. We had a cellular connection that worked with some hardware and that was controllable with a mobile app. With that existing infrastructure built-in, adding additional features was the likely next step. We knew that just the hangar door opening wasn't an exciting business in and of itself, so we interviewed hundreds of pilots and asked them what their pain points were, and after identifying several important issues we narrowed it down to the HangarBot feature set which included engine preheating, remotely opening and closing hangar door, video surveillance, motion detection, door sensors, and environmental controls; that means the thermostat, turning up the heat in the hangar itself (vs the actual engine).
Through developing the HangarBot product line we realized something that was pretty important for the Lynk Remote Technologies vision, which is that there are definitely places that don’t have a standard internet connection that would benefit from video surveillance, remote control, and monitoring. From there the slogan, “Control. Automate. Secure,” was born. If we were to build a product, more importantly, a platform, that could provide a custom solution but leverage the core technology that we had developed, we could cost-effectively reskin our product so that it could have that custom feel, but the development costs were shared amongst several other verticals: marine, aviation, construction, equestrian, and the likes.
Since it’s a platform the use cases are limited. We’ve built it so that we can quickly address unmet needs in the market while offering a robust solution.
Question 2: Where do you hope the company will be in 5 years? 10 years?
In 5 years, I expect the company will be kind of the de facto connectivity platform for connecting people with their passions. The markets that we’re in are large, niche markets and that will allow us to be the most important player in that particular industry. And as such when anybody talks about adding additional things to their boat or whatnot we’ll be the new Raytheon, or the new Garmin, the de facto connectivity product.
In 10 years, I expect that our vertical count will be rapidly accelerated with tremendous growth in various markets. Together amongst multiple markets, the platform will get even better and better. If we enter a new market and come up with a new feature, instantly every single one of those other markets that we’ve previously had gets that exact same feature. And this is the really exciting part about what the future holds for us.
Question 3: How have your experiences as an entrepreneur led to your professional development and what have you learned the most about it?
From an emotional standpoint, I’ve felt the highs and the lows of running a business. Just when you think you’ve solved an issue, a couple more arise. It’s that constant dedication and drive to the future that inspires not only me but the rest of the team. There’s not just one lesson, and there’s not even just one important lesson. You learn everything: how to be an effective leader, how to manage a p&l, how to innovate, how to inspire, how to educate the market, how to ensure customers have the best experience possible by building the things that will help them the most.
Question 4: What are your thoughts on the industry you are currently in (Aviation or Technology or both)?
I think the aviation industry, while it may seem advanced, is quite behind. That's allowed us to come up from nothing to the only hangar automation and security company out there. The technology as a whole is closely related to IoT (the Internet of Things). And I think that the evolution of IoT is coming quickly, especially from the years 2011-2015. There was so much hype in the investment community. And to be quite honest, it kind of plateaued. It wasn’t quite what we all thought when we were looking at what the future can hold for us.
I’m not saying that as a bad thing, but it stumped the excitement. What I’m implying here is that there’s still a tremendous amount of growth that the IoT and products around that arena have yet to create. Given that we are a platform that builds products that people will use I feel that we are absolutely able to ride that wave, maybe even create that wave - hopefully create that wave - to create better-connected products. I hope that we will be the world’s best solution provider for connecting people with their passions.
Question 5: What has been your proudest moment within the company? Are there any moments you wish you could do-over?
I think the proudest moment, and I’ve had a few, was the very first time after a few years of development, I was on a call with a customer who had just ordered the product and had a few questions about it. As soon as those questions were answered, he hooked up his product to the door, and just the pure joy that he had- it was a voice call so I didn’t see his face but I could feel what he was talking about, what he was doing- he was ecstatic that when he pushed the button, he was able to control a massive door. There’s something that’s very rewarding about this feeling.
Yeah, there are some things that I would do over again, however, every time there was something that wasn’t quite right, it led to not having to deal with this issue again. There’s only a handful of times where there was an issue that came up a second time. I don’t think there are any true moments that I wish I could do over because the lessons learned are so incredibly valuable and in some cases are right of passage to creating a really robust product.
Question 6: Do you have any advice for other people looking to start their own business in tech.?
There’s quite a bit. First is don’t start with a lot of money. Figure out what the customer wants, what is going to help them. As soon as you identify that and really get a nice picture of that issue you can start injecting capital. As a very beginning first step, you don’t need to have a product. You don’t even need to have a pitch deck! You just need to have a conversation. So going into it saying “I don’t have 10 million dollars to spend on developing something and that's the reason I can’t do something” is just not the right approach. If there is a need that hasn’t been met and you’re able to convey that need and the opportunity the rest will come.
The second piece of advice is that you can’t do it all yourself, and maybe it's cliche, maybe it's not, but that's a real statement. Why I think it's a real statement is if you're trying to accomplish something that maybe isn't seemingly possible then it doesn't matter how hard you work on going down a single path, you need an excellent team to help get you there. Not only that, but they need to be in sync about the vision and approach. I think that being in sync is something that's very important. If you’re working on something slightly different then the trajectory that you’re on makes a big difference especially over time. So consistently checking in and aligning goals with your team is something that I think is really important for an entrepreneur in technology.
Question 7: What other CEOs/Presidents do you look up to?
I look up to Richard Branson (founder of the Virgin Group, which controls hundreds of companies such as Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Records). His approach and his style of leading are absolutely incredible. You can talk to anybody within any of the Virgin companies and you’ll find a similar culture: people that are passionate about the product that they’re offering, whether it’s an airline, whether it’s a cruise ship, or a health club. And they all have this respect for Virgin and I think that's something that's really important that I really look up to.
Take the time to talk to your boss today, whether you are working at a startup or a company with hundreds of employees. After all, they do sign your paychecks! 😉