Our core technology is called Gravity. It’s a software architecture that adds intelligence to any network. It enables hyper-connectivity capabilities to the devices it’s installed within and enhances the way they work together — Gravity devices require no router or internet to communicate. So within this self-aware, localized network, devices can share resources like cameras, displays, and even processing power!
As a part of our series about cutting edge technological breakthroughs I had the pleasure of interviewing Coy Christmas.
Coy is co-founder and CEO of Fasetto. Getting his start as a serial entrepreneur in the gaming industry, Coy grew successful companies that created sought-after products that sold at Walmart, Best Buy, and GameStop. Coy’s passionate commitment to creating seamless connectivity between people, their content, and their devices — led to the creation of Fasetto in 2013. Currently, Fasetto’s core technology is Gravity, a software architecture that adds intelligence to networks, which will usher in an unprecedented standard in how devices will work together. When Coy’s not busy orchestrating a seismic change — he can be found in Scottsdale, AZ spending time with friends and family or racing cars at professional tracks around the country.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been entrepreneurial for about as long as I can remember. I was in the gaming industry for most of my younger life and had built and sold a few successful companies. I love the rush of discovering something new, and to watch how ideas evolve and grow.
I didn’t start out with any intention of having a company like Fasetto, but we started with a really viable platform idea for the education industry, which then led us to focus our business efforts within the cloud storage space. As much larger companies dominated the market like Dropbox, Box, Apple, etc, we made the conscious decision to start looking at storage and communication solutions between devices from a local level. And that’s where we are today. All of us at Fasetto — and especially me — get a great joy out of the challenge of achieving something no one else has made.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One time I had a meeting with a series of potential investors in the Netherlands. I met with one investor who was really, really wealthy. And his office was located above a public zoo. His specific office was exactly above the gorilla exhibit that had a few insanely huge silverback gorillas. There was a huge treasure chest in the middle of his office and when you opened it up and looked down, you could see them down there and you could throw some food down to them via a tube. It was like something right out of a 007 movie. And it smelled… like the zoo. The places you find looking for funding can lead you to some really interesting situations. So, my advice is to just keep your eyes and ears open.
Can you tell us about the “Bleeding edge” technological breakthroughs that you are working on? How do you think that will help people?
Our core technology is called Gravity. It’s a software architecture that adds intelligence to any network. It enables hyper-connectivity capabilities to the devices it’s installed within and enhances the way they work together — Gravity devices require no router or internet to communicate. So within this self-aware, localized network, devices can share resources like cameras, displays, and even processing power! With our APIs one can then create amazing ways for devices to work within the same connected experience. Gravity is going to lead the way for the next-level of inter-device connectivity.
How do you think this might change the world?
I believe we are bringing the clearest idea of IoT to the world — but removing the lag, security risk, and dependency of the internet to operate. By creating an ad-hoc, localized network of devices that can share resources, you can leverage all the resources of the device network in new ways you never could before. You can give smart processing power to simple, connectivity devices that don’t currently have it. You can take a video call on your TV and your phone can act as the microphone. And Gravity doesn’t stop by connecting only two devices, it can enable 3–4 or more devices to work together simultaneously. Developers will create things they could have never dreamed of because they’ve never had genius-like devices that could do this.
Smarter travel, cars, homes, manufacturing — Gravity enables all that in ways we have yet to imagine, but we can do it in a more secure way without the internet and with so much more flexibility than what’s emerging today.
Keeping “Black Mirror” in mind can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?
With every new influential technology that gains mass adoption, there will always be someone that will find ways to use it in an unethical way. Gravity can move content around between devices so freely, that we’ll have to work very closely with manufacturers and developers to find those privacy safeguards and mechanisms to keep data private for those who want to.
Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this breakthrough? Can you tell us that story?
It was a really simple use case that made me arrive at the Gravity solution, and I think it’s a use case that frustrates anyone that has multiple devices. I was riding in a cab with one of my partners at the time, and we had no internet, no LTE or 4G. We were speeding to a meeting and I needed to get a file from my phone to his laptop. We were only sitting one-foot away from each other. And I didn’t have a thumb drive, either. And it struck me — between the two of us, we have two devices that both have antennas and receivers, they both have connection capabilities, but here we were unable to share a file. We simply wanted to move my content from one machine to another. Shouldn’t be that hard should it?
What do you need to lead this technology to widespread adoption?
We want to get Gravity into as many devices as we can. The best device form factor to do this is the smartphone. The smartphone is the device everyone owns and is the lead device that has birthed so many other solutions like apps and ancillary devices like Bluetooth speakers, smart thermostats, etc.
What have you been doing to publicize this idea? Have you been using any innovative marketing strategies?
We’re finding that creating our own use-cases for Gravity works best to help illustrate the capabilities. We’ve created three unique software engines that are intended to work at the native-level of a device OS — a data-sharing engine code-named Zodiac; Aquarius — a unique video engine that allows one to access another device’s camera and add it to their own video to create multi-angled videos; and Gemini — a video-sharing engine that allows you to share videos with others without the internet. We have more coming out that I’m really excited about, too.
We also maintain a big annual presence at CES every year and also leak things out gorilla style on Reddit and other social channels.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful to who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
It’s not just one person, but many people. You can’t achieve success unless you have help. You can put in the long hours and the dedication, but you need someone to confide in. This road can be stressful and expensive. I’d have to say if it wasn’t for every single one of my investors, we wouldn’t be here. They’ve given me the freedom to let me run the company, execute the vision, support us and not put incredibly restrictive terms on what we’re doing. It’s a great relationship to have. If the investment terms are too restrictive that you might get from VC, even-though the funding is awesome, you can lose the initial vision of the company. We’re really fortunate to have the investors we have.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Yes, of course. As a CEO, I believe I have responsibility to my employees and their families. I want to bring a culture of caring to our business and want my employees to feel if they need something, they can ask the company for help. I also care a lot about education, so we offer our Forum product to schools for free, which works great in older-aged classrooms.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
Here are my five:
- It will take longer. Nothing works the way you put it down on paper. It always takes longer than you want it to. Always.
- It will cost you double. Whatever you think your budget is, it will cost you double or more. There are so many unknown costs along the way. Or something doesn’t come out right and you have to do it again, etc.
- Try to balance and prioritize. This is not always a sprint, you have to have ebbs and flows in your business so you can take time to reflect and know how to move ahead.
- Read the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Amazing book.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t cut your nose to spite your face. If you think you’ll always have to say yes, you might get something in the short term, but it could be sacrificing the long-term vision.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would create a movement to bring coding as part of the core curriculum to schools. It’s a new language and is fundamental to the future. It should be taught like Spanish or a second language. And every child should have the opportunity to learn it. With the hardware and software capabilities we have today, I really believe our only limit is our imagination.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
I have two sayings that guide me in life. The first one is, always treat others the way you want to be treated. I even have it tattooed on my arm as a reminder. It’s not because you’re expecting something in return, it’s just the moral thing to do. Always take the high road. It’s difficult in business, because morality doesn’t always work in business, but I’ve found it’s worked for me over and over. The other is don’t ever quit. It always gets tough, but those tough times build character and so you keep pushing. It’s not always the most talented that win, but those with the most tenacity.
Some very well-known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
The electronics industry is stale. No one is lining up to buy new devices like years ago. Phones are just making incremental improvements in camera, battery, and resolution. There are no seismic changes. But Gravity is that change. Gravity adds intelligence to Wi-Fi between devices so they can do more together than ever before. TVs will interact with phones like never before. Devices will interact with your car like never before. Gravity adds intelligence before and after the transmission. Gravity is the future and I’m excited to get there.