Amen! I’m a believer and will be getting more Wyze cams for sure. I’ve been interested in cameras like these for years (even before DropCam), and it was always a complete BEATDOWN to get them set up unless you were a computer dork of the highest order. Now even regular fellas like me can have these type cameras and then ask hard questions about them if I’m worried. Way to go Wyze!
A bit dramatic and missed the point of my comment completely.
The cameras are $19.99. Shipping is $5.99.
Nothing ships for free. If something is advertised as free shipping the shipping cost is built in to the price of the item. Wyze could have advertised the camera as $25.98 with free shipping. Still pretty inexpensive.
This was a decent discussion about the security of the Wyze cam.
Could you posters (f.catus & angus) please start a separate thread to quibble over quarters?
No. In this case, because we’re friends, part of the Wyze family, a community, suspicion starts at $15.
This is not to say it’s impossible to give something away without mining the recipient. ProtonMail comes to mind. But their stated mission is to provide email privacy to the masses. Because it’s a worthwile thing to do.
In On principle.
However, it’s a service. They have no physical merchandise to hump. And as we all know, that which one humps, may one day hump one back. So it’s best to haul ass. To the swift go the spoils.
And those with the spoils go public. At that point (as Larry McMurty titled his autobiography) all my friends are going to be strangers. It’s in the corporate charter.
I’m sure I’m missing something here, but this is roughly correct.
Yes. A feature of modern marketing involves persuading customers to:
- identify as the company’s family members, community members, friends.
- establish a social commitment to other customers and to develop loyalty to the company brand.
Because the technique is so common and usually so poorly executed it can come off as insincere and annoying which it often is.
It’s possible to give something away without monetizing the recipient. But it’s rare and often typical of a company founded on principle. ProtonMail is an example.
However, ProtonMail is a service. They have no physical merchandise to “carry on their backs.” Wyze does. Managing physical inventory to match demand is a particular challenge that when poorly met damages a company’s prospects.
“Move fast and break things” is one famous company’s early motto. The goal is not to break things but to move fast at all costs to outstrip and/or disrupt the competition. Dominant competitors resent disruption and can be a source of significant blowback.
Results matter and are rewarded by venture types. Taking a company public (listing on a major stock exchange) is a common goal of a company’s early investors. Once you are a public corporation you may be legally constrained from honoring many of your early principles.
To be accurate, you may then need to qualify the word friends with air quotes.
I am a dork of the lowest order. Still, I will proxy for those of the highest order and take limp offense.
They seem to be quickening their response time. Will they deliver the goods? We shall see, eh?
You are right to be suspicious and you should be. There is nothing free and it is often true that if you don’t pay for something then you are the product. I’m the first one to tell my friends about it.
So why would Wyze be any different. Well, we are not. Like any other company we need to make some money to stay in business and we came close to not being able to have enough cash to continue operation. You can see the Q&A video for some of the details.
So how are we staying in business? Easy, we do have a margin on the product. That’s it.
But saying that is not enough to complete the equation. Any accountant will tell you that asset + equity should be greater or equal to liability or you are heading for a Chapter 11 quickly.
Let’s look at the liability side. Without getting into too too much details, we don’t spend money on marketing or at least very little. How much does a video on your tube costs again?
We have developed a strong community and we sell through word of mouth with a referral rate that makes any marketer drool! And I should know, I live with one!
We are trying to keep everything as low cost as possible. Our conference room use conference tables that we got for free. Ikea and Amazon loves us because we are sourcing a lot through them. We examine the costs of everything very carefully and determined if it’s worth spending the money or not. TL;DR we are very cost conscious and don’t live above our means.
So why am I saying this? Because we do NOT need to sell customer data to stay in business.
Now we could just do it to make an extra buck. Except that we believe in protecting our customers. We deeply believe that your data is YOUR data and not ours to sell. We put privacy in front of everything. We see what is happening around us. We see how Facebook is getting beaten down on privacy concerns and so rightfully. It would be stupid for us to follow the same path.
Our systems have been built originally with off the shelf products with little control over the flow of data. We always knew that the data was private and not shared even with our suppliers but we did not necessarily pay attention of the place of “storage” or the place of “transit”. The community, again rightfully so, pointed out that we were using a lot of resources outside the US and that they were worried about privacy in this context.
We reacted to it and worked with our different providers and fixed a lot of issues. Some could be changed fairly quickly because the providers had the options already implemented but for some other features like the registration of the devices (which is just the Mac address of the camera and the matching IP), it was not planned by our live-streaming provider. I’m pretty sure, but I have no proof, that using the worldwide fleet for the registration was an effort to save costs by minimizing the infrastructure and allowing the system to scale properly. Changing that behavior is not something that is straightforward. I know a lot of people just think that software is so malleable that you can change everything in a couple of days, but it is not.
I have worked on some software where just moving the data from one system to a new system has taken 2 people over 1 year of work because stopping the design of a brand new airplane for a week is not an option. Yes 2 years of work to avoid losing one week of 4,000 airplane designers.
So last point of this already too long post, when are we using customer data? Well, look at the google home beta. We have asked the email address of google account from people that wanted to be enrolled. Guess what happened to those email addresses once we subscribed them? Yes deleted. We don’t store them in any database or use them to enroll them to newsletter or anything else. Next time we have a Google related beta we will ask that email address again.
By the way, storing data costs money. For one person is cheap, for 1 million it is not.
Same thing happened with videos. For some motion detection upgrade work that we are doing, we need videos of false motions. We have millions of video from the events and the motion detections. They are all less than 14 days old because, you know, we delete anything past 14 days. We could have used those videos but we didn’t. This is not our data to use. We develop a special version of the app that is asking specifically for each video if the user is willing to submit the video and we are asking to tell us if we have the detection right or wrong. We used only those videos for testing purposes and those videos will not be used for any other projects.
Last point! I swear it is! Doubling, tripling, quadrupling the price of the camera will not change the privacy level of the camera. This is not a cost matter. It is a resource and a pace at which we can make the changes happened. There is something in software development called the Mythical man month. Google it. The TL;DR and the way it is summarized is that 9 women can not make a baby in 1 month!
Bottom line, there is no tangible proof that I can put in front of you. Just my words and explanation with a couple of facts that you can verify. But at the end it is a question of trust. You either believe me and choose to continue to use our products and services or you estimate that we are not doing the right thing. This is up to you and you have to be at peace with your decision, if putting a cam in a place where you think it will compromise your privacy, then don’t! That’s also why we are developing other form of sensors (like a contact sensor or a motion sensor).
Actually I wasn’t suspicious.
My response about $20 cameras was a gauge to see if peepeep was including Wyze as a “YOU are the product” type of company.
Your post seems to be geared more toward responding to peepeep’s comments.
Blown away by the top notch professional response. I am finding a few people just like any site that are trolling this forum (not implying the initial poster) that are eager to look for any flaw with Wyze. If you compare Wyze to other high end systems hands down they (Wyze) is smoking them. Consider this company is still new and still developing. The products, price, transparency, customer service and consumer outreach ALL OTHERS NEEDS TO BOW DOWN!! #MikeDrop
Well put, @WyzeFrederik
Keep up the good work and we’ll keep buying Wyze products!
WHY didn’t you ask the faithful beta testers? I’m sure a lot of us would let you use videos from our cams. I’ve a camera that just monitors the front yard where NOTHING has happened for two weeks (hopefully it will show my son mowing on Friday),
Love this. Organic. Human. Thanks.
That can be on a T-shirt with the Wyze logo…“You Are the Product”
I was going to tell a longer story but here’s the nut of it:
Dialogue like this conveys a deep respect for your customer base. That is how you make legitimate friends of customers.
The reasons we didn’t ask the beta testers is because we had to provide a new firmware that would need to be manually installed with an SD Card and computer plus receive a special version of the software that would disabled timestamp and logo plus would also add the feedback request. We thought it was too many changes and too many disruptions to the standard software.
Once the feature is a little more stable, we will put that feature into the standard firmware and ask the beta testers to validate the performance like they have done so many times in the past and for which we are very grateful.
I’m sold. Payday is Monday. I’ll be buying more cameras and recommending to friends.
Hey @alexey.vasilyev , meant to ask, how will Wyze’s impending 2FA (two-factor authentication) implementation affect tinyCam Pro’s use with the Wyze cams?
No idea at the moment.