Product Leader Spotlight: Sebastian Adams

Chief Product Officer, Forcite
Director, Organism Design

Once dubbed “the Porsche of motorcycle helmets,” Forcite is revolutionizing motorcycle safety with its AI-powered helmet. Kraftful Solutions Engineer Heather Perkins sat down with Forcite CPO Sebastian Adams to chat about his career and advice for aspiring product leaders.

Heather: What product are you building?

Seb: We make smart motorcycle helmets. Our new model (MK1S) has a bunch of improvements, which makes it just a smoother experience. It has a video camera in the front and an audio system. It also has a peripheral display system, which is like a little light display that sits in your peripheral vision and sends the rider alerts of hazards. It also provides navigation in a visual way as well as audio.

A large part of what we do is about making things safe for the rider. Making things not distracting and giving them contextual information that they can use to keep them safe on the road at the same time as making it more fun.

It's a dash cam, but it's also a great scenic cam for people to record their rides, communicate with mates, get on group calls and have more fun and be more safe riding with our helmet. 

Heather: What’s your current challenge?

Seb: We've had a really tough time with the supply chain through covid. Helmet shells, it turns out, were incredibly hard to get manufactured with a shortage of skilled labor. We're pushing over the air updates to it constantly. Riders are now getting new features pushed to their helmets by their mobile phone.  It's all going well.

Heather: If you’re successful in your mission, how will the world look different?

Seb: We're all used to the fact that our car tells us all sorts of interesting information about what's going on. We're used to the fact that we can get navigation or whatever information that's important to us, contextually. When people put on a motorcycle helmet, suddenly that turns all of that off. We're trying to reverse that to make motorcycling safer and more fun.

Heather: How did you get into IoT?

Seb: I ran my own design consultancy for a long time. I've always had a deep interest in technology. Not all the projects that I did were technology focused, but increasingly they have been over my career and I’m particularly interested in connected devices and wearable devices. I do some scientific projects which had IoT elements such as smart eyewear, a portable time tracking device, and timeboxing gadgets. Then eventually this opportunity came up. I've been working with the founders for quite a while, and I could tell that the recipe was right, so I jumped on board.

Heather: What advice do you have for aspiring product leaders?

Seb: People are inundated with sophisticated and complex technology and products. So when you're delivering something that's sophisticated, make it as simple as you possibly can. And remember that people might just take a small bite out of your product. They might only just use one feature or one thing. Don't overestimate how engaged people will be in the whole suite of complicated features that you're offering. Allow people to take exactly what they want and leave the rest and make sure that is a great experience too. 

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