Alexander Linn - Founder & CEO, Shipshape AI

Alexander Linn is an entrepreneur with experience in artifical intelligence, building science, energy techologies and economic development. His goal is to build technologies that promotes the development of better communities. His current company Shipshape AI does this by connect home systems to help owners detect and fix potential issues with their homes prior to them becoming serious.

Troy Schlicker: Today I'm joined by Alexander Lynn of Ship shape.ai, a home technology company here, based here in Austin, Texas. So appreciate you joining today, Alexander

Alexander Linn: Troy. Thanks for having me. Excited to be here.

Troy Schlicker: Nice. So why don't you maybe give us just a kind of a, for people who aren't aware, give us maybe just a little quick, brief overview of ship.

Alexander Linn: And what you guys do. Yeah, for sure. So what we do at Ship Shape is we help people save money on their maintenance and the energy related to managing their homes. And the way we do that is we put in smart home devices. These are smart plugs and water sensors and temperature sensors. And doing that we can measure how much energy each appliance is using.

We can predict when those appliances might break down. We can identify risks that could cause damage to the. And then opportunities to improve the performance of the home. And at the end of the day, we think every home should be safe and reliable and efficient. With all this technology we have in the world, it seems like our homes should be our safe space.

And we have a real opportunity to bring technology and help homeowners save money. And that's more important now than ever given where we are in the, economic times.

Troy Schlicker: Yeah. And given how expensive replacing a lot of those different appliances and home fixtures and stuff have become,

Alexander Linn: Yeah, absolutely.

It's the most expensive asset in people's lives. In fact, for most of our customers, it's literally their only asset. And people are very bogged down by their homes. I spend a lot of time stressed out and worried about these systems in their home, and if something goes wrong, It can mean more than money.

It can really mean psychological wellbeing, and we want to help the homeowners with technology. Yeah,

Troy Schlicker: no. As a real estate agent, it's I'm well aware of the fact that people, even people who have bought home, sold, bought and sold homes many times before, like it's such a stressful thing when they have to do it again.

Since you only do it every couple of years at the most for a lot of people, and how much more expensive it is than almost any other purchase that most people make. There's just a lot of emotion and stress and anxiety that can reside in a home for.

Alexander Linn: Yep, a hundred percent. And nobody buys a home planning to be a property manager.

They buy a home planning to raise a family, planning to work at a job, and then they find themselves overwhelmed and ill-equipped to take care of that home. And the consequences can be very serious when things go wrong.

Troy Schlicker: Yes. And unfortunately in general, people have a tendency to try to push off doing a lot of things in life, whether that's eating healthy or getting their car repaired or doing home maintenance stuff and that usually just tends to exasperate the problem.

Alexander Linn: Yeah, no question. Think about when was the last time that your water heater gave you a heads up that it might start leaking through the roof, or when was the last time you got in the shower and the water came out and it was cold? You didn't know that was gonna happen. So everything in your home, you wait until after it's broken.

To fix it. What if we could live in a world where you got an early warning sign, like a check engine light for your house that told you when you needed to deal with something before you're broke down on the side of the road? Okay.

Troy Schlicker: And of course, just like breaking down the side of the road, most of those issues, your AC goes out at the hottest day of the summer type of thing, right?

Your out better heater goes out when it's in the middle of winter and you're Definitely important things there. For you personally, I know most people that live here in Austin have an origin story that has them mo coming to Austin at some point in time. Tell us a little bit about you and your story of coming, of either growing up in or coming to

Alexander Linn: Austin.

Yeah, I Austin is an incredible city and I was actually in San Francisco. I was born in Birmingham, Alabama, raised in Ohio, a sort of small town kid working in San Francisco for Salesforce and their AI department as a lead engineer there. And I was thinking about how could we use this really powerful technology to help people.

And I got really interested in homes because the home is about a lot more than just a physical structure you live in. It's really like a psychological part of people feeling good about their lives. And what I realized was that Austin was a perfect place to come in the center of the country.

And not just geographically in the center, but like in the center of the country politically. You have a very progressive community in Austin that's rooted in a conservative state of Texas and we wanna serve all homeowners. We didn't want to be a comp company in San Francisco working with a bunch of high tech folks who didn't really understand what it's like to be a middle America.

We thought Austin brought the best of both worlds for us to be able to get the best talent, really forward thinking people, but also people who could connect with our customers. And what we're seeing in Austin right now is lots of other companies feel the same way, and it's the epicenter of the next big.

Technology technology growth and opportunity in the economy. And everyone's coming to Austin for similar reasons and we're finding a lot of like-minded people who they don't want to just build companies. They want to build companies that are gonna build a better world, and it's inspiring to be in that community.

Yeah.

Troy Schlicker: What got you involved or interested in technology to begin?

Alexander Linn: That's an interesting question because I was interested from the time I was a kid, but going through college, I thought that the right direction to go was work in finance and I could get a really good job in finance and I was interested in that.

But pretty quickly I realized that. It wasn't enough for me and what I was doing, I was working at a hedge fund. I was looking at macroeconomic trends and I'd identified that technology was creating a whole lot of efficiency in these different industries, but at the same time, inequality. So what happens when technology comes into the automotive industry and you get 10 times the output per worker?

That means the returns go to the owners of capital and intellectual property and away from the worker. So I got concerned about, inequality being a big problem for the future of our society and started thinking about how could I use technology to, to try and help solve that problem.

And that's where I got interested in, If I could use artificial intelligence in a way that would create. More efficient homes help people save money on their homes. Not only would that use some of the most powerful technology we ever created in a way that sort of redistributed the wealth back to everyday people but it would also help with the psychological well.

So if we could help these homeowners to be less bogged down, they might be able to go out in the community and do more focus on their families, focus on their careers and that would help build a better world. So I got really interested in the economic development impact of technology, and several years into my career decided I was gonna go for being a finance guy to being a, an engineer, working on.

It was an interesting journey to get there, and most people told me I was crazy and I would never get there, but I was very passionate about figuring out how to solve this problem. And the rest of it figured the rest of how I got there happened naturally because I was so drawn to trying to help people with technology.

Troy Schlicker: A lot of it probably found you, right? Once you have a specific purpose it's amazing how, you, again, the scene when you own a red car, all you see a red car is phenomenon. Like when you have a purpose for, having a company that improves people's wellbeing on top of being profitable so that we can stay in business.

It's amazing how you start to find like-minded people. That fit, that, that narrative and the uses for technology that can fit that as well too. Yeah.

Alexander Linn: It's funny you say that. It's like you give a certain gravity to this vision or this world that you wanna see. And when people can get behind that, they say, Wow that would be good.

People are less bogged down with their homes. We have real energy crisis on our hands. We, we can't people ask about the recession all the time right now, and I say, Look, the recession, climate change will not wait for a recession. That hot water heater that's up in your attic that might fall through the roof, that won't wait for a recession.

And when all of a sudden people start understanding how important it is, it's like the stars align. It's one thing after another comes out of the woodwork. To either, it's a new team member, it's a new investor, it's a new customer, and people align around values much more than they align around products.

This is something I learned working under Mark Benioff and his organization at Salesforce. Companies wanted to work with Salesforce cuz it was a good company with good values and it wasn't because their CRM software was so much better than, Microsoft CRM software. And I actually. Big deals, one, and listen to CEOs say that was the motivating factor.

So you're absolutely right. When you've got, And this whole thing has been about the idea to help people, and all of a sudden there's just been a lot of folks who have rallied around us to make it real.

Troy Schlicker: Yeah, and one of the things you go back to, you're first getting into the hedge fund world, like with technology in general, and then AI even, or.

The internet as a specific technology, cuz there's plenty of other technologies before that. Both the internet specifically and now ai, like we sometimes forget just how new these technologies are, right? We like to think, and for some of us, a lot of our lives have been lived with the internet and a lot of our, the remain, most of the remaining of our lives will be lived even more and more with artificial intelligence.

But they really are relatively new technologies in the scheme of things. And The fact that how they first started off isn't how they're gonna continue over the next 20, 30, a hundred years. Sometimes people give technology a bad rap because they're looking at it in such a small snapshot of time instead of really getting a larger.

Holistic idea of how these things will eventually improve our lives long term.

Alexander Linn: Yeah it's interesting. One of the problems with artificial intelligence is it's gonna happen a lot faster, with much greater impact than anything we've ever seen before. So it took a long time for automobiles to get out.

It took long time for central air conditioning to get out. Artificial intelligence will proliferate the economy very quickly. But what we've seen with technologies is you have the haves and the have not. You create a lot of digital divide. So for example, when we went through Covid and you needed to have broadband internet to dial into the classroom, the kids living in rural communities, lower income communities, approximately 30% of some of our states don't even have access to broadband internet.

Those kids all fell behind in school. That's what we call the digital. That digital divide exists for businesses, it exists for people. And one of our core values at Ship Shape is how do you make technology accessible to everyone? Now, how do you lift up the small businesses, the everyday homeowner with technology, Not the early adopters, not the sophisticated, folks who have enough money and resources to invest in this.

How do you package it in a way where it's really accessible to every. And if we could do that, everyone could get the benefit of this very powerful technology. And we don't run the risk of leaving every, leaving folks behind. And it is a real concern of mine that people get left behind by technology and it's very hard to catch up.

Troy Schlicker: Yes, it's very true. How do you, so as a business owner, how do you balance that objective with obviously, your business objectives? Cuz again, you obviously have to one, stay in business, otherwise everything's a mo point that way, but also to continue to grow the business you have, there's additional levels of productivity and financial independency you have to gain to that momentum going to really probably achieve your phila philanthropic goals as well too as a business?

Alexander Linn: Yeah, it's I tried to specifically choose a business where our business would do well when our mission actually worked. So it, it wasn't like, and I love what they did at Salesforce, but Salesforce is the business of selling crm and they have an awesome philanthropic mission, which is separate.

And I wanted to say what if I built a business model where the actual business model was to make the world better, help people save energy, help people save money, reduce the carbon footprint of their homes. So this is like the, this is like how we make money. And if we do that as a business, customers pay us a subscription.

It's worth paying our subscription because we save them more. Then they would otherwise spend on wasted energy and unexpected damage to their house. So that was really important to me. That was the first part of it. The second part of it was then how do I build a culture? That would constantly look for ways to do more in building a better world.

And not only that, but make sure that over time some of these technologies become very powerful and there's some unintended consequences that can come with that. So over time, I, I'm just I'm just one person. I'm not gonna be able to control this company. I don't wanna stay in control of this company.

I want this company to be for homeowners. There should be a platform out there that helps homeowners manage their homes. You got Uber for taxis, Airbnb for hotels, but the most important asset in your life and homeowners are left all on their own to figure it out. So I built in a philanthropic model.

I learned from Salesforce. Mark Benioff built the 1 1 1 model and we built the 2, 2, 2. And for me it was about taking what Mark and thousands of other companies have now done standing on the shoulders of those giants to do even more. So we doubled our contribution. We gave 2% of our equity to the Ship Shape Foundation.

So when our company's very successful, we'll have a pool of money to make grants to low income homeowners. We set aside 2% of our product to make sure that one out of 50 customers on our platform. Has a subsidized product and a free subscription, which will help us to serve all the homeowners and then 2% of our time.

So our employees give five days a year to volunteer, doesn't count towards their vacation. And that makes sure that they're out in the community working with the people who we want to help improve their lives. And I thought if we did this, we could create a sort of hyper alignment. I'd have a culture and I'd have employees that were saying, Yes, we do have a for-profit motive, we do have investors.

And that's all designed. Outcomes that will make the world better. But how do we even build upon that over time and stay true to that? It's by building a culture that's really aligned with the community. So we have the ability to make money while doing good. And that was a big part of what was interesting about homes.

And one of the things you'll notice about homes is they go all the way across to the income and demographic. So you get the chance when you're helping homeowners no matter how even an $80,000 home costs potentially thousands of dollars a year to operate, it's still a massive expense and we can still save that person a significant amount of money, even though it's a lower cost home compared to, the average home in America is more like a couple hundred thousand dollars.

We get the chance to help all homeowners save money.

Troy Schlicker: Yeah, you mentioned some of the unintended consequences with technology. I don't know if you heard a couple, I think it was a couple months ago at least, that's when I had heard, saw the article about I think it was this summer in Colorado about people that were a part of the A program through the local electric company that had smart thermostats where their, the electric company, because of a heatwave and some potential blackouts, actually Couldn end up controlling their thermostats and not allowing them to lower lower the temperatures down for whatever reason.

I didn't get a whole super, super deep into it. But like that, Oregon, and you talk about technology, how important. Is to have access to the internet, right? We think of the internet as something, If you have the internet, you think of it as something that everyone has. Or you can go to a coffee shop and get in stuff.

But in reality, there still are a lot of people that don't have it. And that's a very binary thing about what you can or can't do then by not by having or not having good quality internet.

Alexander Linn: Yeah, it's it's a real challenge to it's a real challenge to deliver the technology to the homeowners in a way that actually creates value for them.

So for us, it's really been, all about understanding the customer. Understanding what applications that customer cares about. What systems in their home are most expensive to operate. And what's been different about what we do. To bring it back to your utility comment about changing the thermostat, most of these businesses are built in a way where they're naturally averse to the homeowner's interest.

Almost every business that sells something to the home. Is not aligned with that homeowner's interest. They want to sell them more of that thing. , and they don't actually, if you look at the way the home works, the utility company doesn't really talk to the air conditioning manufacturer.

That air conditioning manufacturer doesn't really talk to the plumber. So you have different types of providers that don't talk to each other, that have different sets of interest. There is no solution for a home that says, Hey, our best interest is to help the homeowner, and if we help you, you'll keep paying us a subscription fee to help you save money.

So we wanted to be a subscription based business that was really aligned with the homeowner, and we're gonna facilitate those exact programs. In fact one of our largest partners is the second largest utility in the. Southern Company, We've piloted our technology with them. Alabama Power, their subsidiary in Alabama has made an investment in ship shape.

And we see a huge opportunity to provide the utilities with the interface that homeowner needs and the trust from the homeowner so they can better manage the grid. Cause what's happening is real. When the grid shuts down in Texas due to a polar vortex, it actually causes people to lose their lives.

This, for some of us we're uncomfortable and we get blankets For other folks, it literally is a life and death situation. We have a very fragile electrical grid in the United States. We're gonna put globally 4 billion more air conditionings systems in. Over the next about 15 years. So we really can afford to not optimize the energy in these homes.

In fact, it's not possible to meet the Paris Accord and our climate change goals if we don't learn how to manage the energy in the homes better. But right now, the homeowner doesn't trust the. The company who put a little bit of fine print in there and said, Hey, I may change your thermostat and you won't have control over it.

We're gonna help both sides build more trust. The reality is these utility companies, a lot of them are very good people. The folks at Alabama Power Care more than almost anyone we've ever met about making the lives of their customers better. But they don't necessarily have all the technology tools to do it, and we're gonna help bring them some technology tools, help bring the customer some tools, build more trust.

And that relationship, put the customer, empower the customer to understand what's going on and understand when that thermostat is being taken over by the utility, they may actually be helping save a life. And when they do that, you know how many more people would say, You know what I, I can deal with it being a little bit hotter, but right now on that level of communication doesn't really exist.

And so the trust is,

Troy Schlicker: Yeah. With a company like yours that has a strong mission in their why as they're growing, how do you work to maintain that as you get larger, as you, as there are more people, financial investors, different people to answer to in that regard? Cause I do think that's one of the things that's challenging for a lot of companies, even if they don't have.

Always a great mission. Once you start to go public or you get bought by a company, suddenly, the mission that you had gets altered to some degree based off again, the company that purchased you. Or you think a lot of what happens on Wall Street is, hey, we have to hit these stock prices every 90 days and stuff.

And it's not that There's always. Not to say that they're not, can't be greedy as well too. But it's not always coming from a place of greed, but coming from a place of, we need to hit this or that's gonna affect your job or your stock price or these metrics. And so an advantage of a smaller company like yours is you don't have some of those outside voices, but how do you maintain that vision and focus as you grow and some of those things start to potentially come into play?

Alexander Linn: Yeah I think it's a great question and I've spent a lot of time thinking about. First it comes down to really connecting to and listening to our customers. And the second piece is, if we're gonna serve and the primary customer is the homeowner, but that's not our only customer. The contractors, our customer, the utilities, our customer, the manufacturers, our customer insurance providers, our customers.

We were in the business of connecting a home on one side to the providers, the businesses that they require to take care of that home. We connect them to each other. That's, fundamentally how our business works. So when we go partner with providers, part of the reason we wanted to partner with Alabama Power is because they're intensely focused on economic development and promoting more wellbeing for their residents.

The reason we like some of these contractor partners we work with, there's a really great contractor partner. We've been working with that business called Thrass, and they're a value aligned market leading dealer. And we specifically seek this out. We go into market, we ask about the reputations of dealers, and we go talk to them.

We look for contractors that have their own philanthropic initiative. We look for contractors that donate money to charity, that train their people and give career growth to their employees to get good reviews from their customers. We talk to their customers about it. So we're trying to build a network of not just businesses that'll help us grow, but really starting with value aligned businesses that care about more than just growth.

This is about helping homeowners, modernizing homes and look, when we do it, there's plenty of money for all of us to make. We spend in the United States about $1 trillion a. Managing our homes with contractors, manufacturers, utilities, and insurance. So much money homeowners spend with those providers. And when we look at those different segments, approximately 30% of that is wasted.

Okay? So we're talking $300 billion a year. That's getting wasted. Ship shape's gonna go make that significantly more E. We're gonna take a small cut of the efficiency we create. As a result, those providers will be more profitable and the homeowners will save money. It's literally a win. We're not a disruptive business.

We're trying to network together the participants. Everybody wins. And by structuring a business model, that's a win. By building a philanthropic model into our culture, and by partnering with the right partners, we'll build essentially a community around our business that helps ensure that we continue to focus on our mission and stay true to our values.

Troy Schlicker: I love it. Yeah. One of the things, again, so as a realtor, one of the things that I notice a lot, having to go on home inspections and all those kind of things is you start you again. You think about the short timeframe that we have had for internet and a lot of the different technologies that have come along because of it, and it takes me back.

My grandpa was a sea repairman back in the day, and so could fix anything and, but it also felt like a lot of the. Appliances while less complicated than they are today for obvious reasons. Also seem like they lasted longer in some regards too. And so it'll be interesting to see if technology and right then that's where, say a company like Samsung who makes great products, but say there's a fee and it feels like there's potentially that pull of shoot if we make our product too good, they're not gonna have to buy a new refrigerator in seven years.

They'll buy it in 15 years. Cutting into our, profit margins, which, could be a impact for investors and stuff. And so it's not that I think on an individual basis or an individual product or a specific service provider, people are coming in and generally trying to do pull work so they can get work again down the road.

But it's again, a little bit of that juxtapose of if you could really. A car that could last for 30 years. You wouldn't be able to sell more cars very often.

Alexander Linn: Yeah. It's an interesting problem and that's why we tried to build a business that actually had a business model directly aligned with those incentives.

But you're absolutely right. That, and it's in, in the bigger picture, been a very good thing for the world. We have had to build a lot of housing. When I was born, there were like less than 1 billion people living in the developed economi. And they're telling the World Economic Forum just came out and said that one of the largest threats to our world is not addressing climate change.

And in order to do that, we're gonna have to modernize and provide 3 billion more homes up to standard. How do you do that? You gotta make dishwashers cheaper. You gotta produce more dishwashers. You gotta ship 'em. And when you do all that stuff, yes, you got plastic parts instead of metal parts and they break down sooner.

But ultimately the economy is figuring out how to provide and a lot of it does become consumerism and that's not generally good for the world, but our ability to provide higher quality of living standards to now what we're talking billions of people in the world. Is amazing thing.

And you look at the outcomes that have come from that and generally across the board, the world is much better now than it was a hundred years ago. It's

Troy Schlicker: hard for people to see that. No. Yeah. For as many people who wanna demonize technology, whether that's social media or self-driving cars or any of these kind of things, it's go.

50, a hundred years ago and come back to me in many places around the world. Like people, a lot of times like to romanticize the past in general, but also one of the things I'd like to, they think of, I think a lot of times too, is when they think, Oh, remember the simpler times a hundred years ago?

They're also usually putting themselves as The Roosevelts a hundred years ago. Yeah, your life wasn't too bad if you were the Roosevelts a hundred years ago. It's still the average Middle American today has more than they did. But if you go back to the average American a hundred years ago, that was living in New York City and not the Roosevelts like.

Life wasn't so great. Not having great sewer systems and all different kinds of things in New York City. Yeah, like as much as people like to demonize technology and progress really li life has not been better for more people at any time in history than it is today.

Alexander Linn: When we take the technology, we can now use it to network these participants together so that there's visibility into those outcomes, which previously there wasn't.

And that's really hard. What I can tell you for sure is that a lot of these companies care about having good products. I'll give you an example. One of the manufacturers of Demid Fires, we work with business called Ail Air, Exceptional Company. They're trying to make cleaner quality air, more efficient air conditioning systems.

They care a lot about their customers and they want to know. We can bring them data about the performance of their appliance. And help them make a higher quality appliance that does a better job and lasts longer. That's in their interest. They do want to do that. They, we don't meet companies that are trying to deliver poor quality products so that they can make a higher margin off of their customer and replace 'em more frequently.

It's not the market forces will push companies in a direction of doing that. But when we can create the feedback loop, which has previously been, Im. But now Ship Shape comes and gets data outta the home. We help the utility have that data, we help the manufacturers have the data, the insurance provider.

That feedback loop allows us to create better products that are much more aligned with what's good for the world.

Troy Schlicker: Yep, very much I know you mentioned, I don't know how we'll see how well it works, but you so like for your, for Shape ship specifically, So I a home. What kind of specific things are you guys, do you guys do and how does that, how does your product work in a specific home?

Alexander Linn: Yeah. There's three primary categories. So there's the foundation, which is where we go into the basement and crawlspace. A lot of folks don't go down in their basement and cross base. In fact, a lot of folks actually are not physically able to really get down there and check frequently on the basement and cross base.

But they have equipment down there. They got pumps, some pumps that pump water out when it rains of dehumidifiers that keep the humidity under control so they don't grow mold in their house. that's really where we started. Nobody's helping homeowners. There is no nest for your crawlspace.

But there's 26 million homes in the US that have a crawl space that are literally like rotting underneath them. The floorboards are rotting. It's causing massive financial damage. We're talking tens of thousands of dollars to deal with this issue that homeowners think they're paying down their loan building equity in their house, and they go to sell it, and it up ends up being condemned.

We've literally seen this from customers. Then on top of that, the whole time they were living there, they were wasting about 15% of extra energy, money they can't afford. 20% of Americans last year couldn't afford to pay their full energy bills. So you can't really afford to just waste energy cuz you don't know you're wasting it.

Then on top of that, you get air quality problems. You start growing mold. There's an epidemic of asthma in the country like, two times as many people have asthma now as. about 30, 40 years ago, and it coincides directly with central air conditioning. You start forcing cold air through buildings.

When it's hot outside, you create condensation, humidity drives mold growth, and now people are getting sick with asthma and other respiratory diseases. So that's just coming outta the basement in crawlspace. The second category for us would be hvac. The air conditioning systems, heating and cooling your house.

So we go in and we connect your thermostat to ship shape. We connect that. A lot of times people have up in the attic, they'll have an air handler that helps move the air around. That's one of the most common reasons you claim an insurance damage because that air handler has a condensation pan that overflows and it drips through the ceiling and next thing it's thousands of dollars to get it replaced.

Again, no one's going into their attic very frequently. To check on that equipment. There's usually other equipment, like hot water heaters that are up in your attic. In your kitchen you have refrigerators, dishwashers many of us have experienced a refrigerator that went bad and you lost hundreds of dollars of food and dealt with quite a painful experience.

And sometimes it can take, a month or two to get a new refrigerator. One of our customers was using their neighbor's refrigerator cuz their refrigerator went bad. This kind of stuff. We're able to predict, we use a very simple, smart plug like this and a very simple, water sensor, humidity sensor, temperature sensor.

We don't make hardware. We buy hardware from high quality vendors. We plug it into our software sort of brain, if you will, that can analyze all that data. We look at the weather data, we look at data about your house, and with just those two little devices, we can connect pretty much every appliance and system in your home and monitor every area of your home to predict risks and recommend areas.

You could increase the performance that save some money. Nice.

Troy Schlicker: No, that's, again, as someone who's had dishwasher issues and refrigerator issues and hot water heater issues from at some point in time in, in their home ownership life, like again, it's not, they're, they rarely come at the, at opportune times.

And again, they're not in, not inexpensive

Alexander Linn: either. Yeah. I can assure you, Troy, you were not alone. Basically, every homeowner deals with this and it's crazy. We are right now living in a world where cars drive themselves. They're made in factories by robots, and then you get home for your kid's birthday and you find out the air conditioning went out cuz you walk in and it's 90 degrees and then that ends up leading to mold growth in the ducks and now you're getting sick.

It's really backwards to have this much technology and this many resources and not help people with such a basic, fundamental need, which is making sure they got a stable roof over their head and they're not bogged down trying to take care of their.

Troy Schlicker: Yeah. Have you guys worked much or do you guys work much with home home warranty companies as

Alexander Linn: well, or home warranty companies?

We've talked to quite a few of them. A number of our utility partners offer sort of appliance protection plans. We, right now that market has been a challenge for two reasons. One, most com homeowners don't have. There's actually a small fraction of the market, and typically they get them when they purchase the house.

The real estate agent recommends 'em and then they cancel them. The customer satisfaction is fairly low because those warranties are issued without any real data about the house. And the satisfaction then for the customer. Results in a lot of times they think that something's gonna be covered and it's not.

So we really appreciate what those businesses are trying to do, and there's some really good businesses out there. But at the moment we're, we see the position they're in as not quite as in sync with us as say, like an insurance or utility provider. Sure. And we're very much looking forward to finding.

They'll ride home warranty type providers where we can enhance their service and give them real data. And imagine like you're in insurance, you now have drive safe programs. What if there was a home warranty where if you actually changed your air filters and chip shape knows if you change your air filters.

So if you actually change your air filters, maybe you get a better deal. But right now, those products are a little bit nichey and hard to deliver. So we are we would put them in, the not too distant future, but we're not yet working with them. Sure.

Troy Schlicker: Yeah. No, there's something I say as a realtor.

Again, like I say, in a lot of transactions, there's something that takes place as more of a small insurance policy for a home buyer, buying a home to have some peace of mind that they just spent. Hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home and won't, maybe won't have to fix a refrigerator for the first year or something like that.

But but yeah, it's. An interesting concept that way. For, to, for people who want to learn more about ship shape, what are some of the best ways to learn more, get in touch, figure out, find out more about you guys?

Alexander Linn: Yeah. We are very involved in the community. We're involved with the Austin Chamber.

We try and support the innovation ecosystem in Austin, Texas, and other communities we participate in. Definitely our website has a lot of good inform. Www.shipshape.ai. We have white papers, we have blog posts, product information, but I'd really encourage people just to call us. And the reason why is because we have these fantastic home assistants.

They sit here in the United States actually in Birmingham, Alabama. We have great network operations center here and. These folks are trained in How homes work. They're trained in building science. They're trained in the mechanical systems. They're trained in utilities and contractors, and their sole job is to help homeowners think about which technology will be right for their home.

To help them with the things that are most important. So if you just call in and you ask for some help, we will ask you a few questions, what's important to you, and we'll be able to prescribe you, recommend to you a specific solution that'd be right for your home, and then give you information on actually that solution so you understand what recommending for you.

Very nice. Yeah,

Troy Schlicker: no, I say it's. Especially with a newer type of product that you guys are offering versus some, versus entering an existing kind of industry space. The giving knowledge to the potential customer base is obviously one of the critical parts to getting adoption for what you guys.

Alexander Linn: Absolutely a hundred percent. Cool.

Troy Schlicker: A couple other places. I know you guys are on Facebook and LinkedIn as well too, so for people that are interested in just stalking them a little bit more or keeping up with those blog posts you can find 'em at Shape Ship AI on Facebook and at

Alexander Linn: LinkedIn too.

Yep. LinkedIn's a great place and we have a lot of good information coming out on LinkedIn, so please follow us there as.

Troy Schlicker: Awesome. Cool. I really appreciate taking the taking the time to sit down and chat today. You guys have a lot of interesting things going on and love the mission and love where things are headed for you guys.

Alexander Linn: Troy, thank you for having me. And I think what you're doing is super important and if we could get more folks out there, like you shining a light on the folks who are trying to pull together the resources to build a better world, it really is powerful. So thank you for what you're doing and thank you to all the other folks you've interviewed who are out there trying to build good companies.

And let's do it together. Let's build a better world together.


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