Silicon Valley startup innovates using Surface Book
Vatsal Shah started Litmus Automation only three years ago with “a couple of guys in a basement.” Today, he uses Surface to help grow his global business.
“He walks off the plane from Tokyo at 3 a.m. and joins my call with Toronto at 5 a.m.,” remarked David Sidhu, VP of customer success at Litmus Automation. David was describing the incredible work ethic of Co-founder and CEO Vatsal Shah, the man behind the rapid growth and development for his Silicon Valley startup, launched in 2014. In three short years, Vatsal has built an incredible team of software engineers, from “a few guys in a room” to a bustling HQ in San Jose and satellite offices in Tokyo and Toronto.
Litmus Automation is leading the revolution for “connected things,” IOT for some of the largest manufacturing companies in the world. Renault, Nissan, Texas Instruments and Dell are just a few to leverage products Loop and Loop Edge, a secure cloud based on premise middleware platform to deliver rapid solutions for connected car and manufacturing scenarios. Companies who need to drive insights from IOT but don’t want to build an infrastructure from scratch are turning to Litmus Automation.
Vatsal cleared his calendar for a day to spend some time with me discussing the decision to launch Litmus Automation. I wanted to understand the methods, tools, team development and deployment of technologies like Surface that helped to grow Loop and Loop Edge, two “internet of things” software products that offer connectivity, management and application integration for thousands of disparate parts at industrial manufacturing behemoths like Nissan, Renault and Intel.
As we explored the ethos that supports their innovation and product development, Vatsal shared his enthusiasm to truly surprise and delight his customers, delivering the highest level of satisfaction by consistently creating the best quality products. “Better tools deliver better products, and Surface is the perfect combination of Hardware and Software,” said Vatsal. “My first computer was a Windows computer and my the last computer we purchased was a Surface Book.” He described the need for a versatile device that empowered his workflow from long haul flights to sending sketched diagrams and updates while discussing new connectivity and implementation while on-site with new clients. Surface provides the combination of touch and incredible ink quality with an extended battery life, and the ability to use as a powerful tablet without sacrificing access to powerful applications. His executive and development team alike frequently run simultaneous programs such as sketch, Skype for Business, OneNote and Power BI while reviewing code in Visual Studio Code with Docker, and Xamarin which compiles for both Android and iOS.
With Surface Book, Vatsal uses the pen every day to sketch ideas in OneNote and Sketch, replacing analog whiteboards and saving thousands on printing costs. This has allowed him to get thoughts and diagrams out rapidly and more securely store and share at any hour of the day.
At the end of our day together, we joked that while Vatsal didn’t achieve his one-time goal of employing 27 people by the age of 27, he’s well on his way to employing over 100 by the age of 30. I’ve no doubt he’ll achieve that and much more.