Full Transcription

This little guy is looking to become the first robot that you have in your house. He’s cute. He’s pretty fun. But does he provide enough value to actually get you to buy him? I don’t know, let’s dig in and find out.  

This is Clay from Map & Fire. And this is the 10X Teardown. This is where we look at products and services to figure out if they’re hitting that 10x threshold. Which is about what it takes to get somebody to switch over to something new. That new thing can’t be a little better or incrementally better. It’s got to be about 10 times better.

About the Anki Vector Robot

Today we’re looking at the Vector robot from Anki.

We’re going to try to figure out if he’s hitting that 10X bar. Anki positions him kind of as a entertainment  and informational product. He’s supposed to be helpful around the house. So, that’s how we’ll evaluate him. We’ll look at that job, and see if he’s achieving that job for potential customers.

Elements of Value

To help us figure out if Vector’s hitting a 10X value for customers, we’re going to use a tool called the Elements of Value.

If you’re not familiar with the Elements of Value, you can read about it more on the Map & Fire website. It’s kind of like the Periodic Table of things that customers care about when selecting a product or service.

We’re going to pick out a few of these elements and see how well Vector is delivering on them.

Fun and Entertainment

The first element we’re going to look at is fun and entertainment. This is where I feel like vector kind of hangs his hat right now.

He can do a lot of cute little tricks. He’s got this block he plays with. He can lift it up, he can flip it over, do wheel stands on it. You can also do a fist bump which is kind of fun.

But when we’re talking about a 10X value, we have to think about what is it compared against. And whether it’s kids or adults, some of the most popular entertainment products are things like video games or maybe even card games. And while Vector has a really high novelty factor right now, he doesn’t necessarily have the sustainability or repeatability of something like video games where you could lose hours in a blink.

But with Vector, time moves kind of slow. You have to give him a command and you have to wait for him to respond to it. And while those tricks are fun, once you’ve been through them a couple times they kind of lose some of their spark. It’s fun to show them to other people but it’s not necessarily something you would come back to again and again.

For that reason, I think at best we might say from an entertainment standpoint, again the novelty factor being very high, maybe it’s about a 5X.


The next element we’ll look at is informs. Again Vector has a few different features around this. He can tell you the weather. He can tell you the time. He can look things up for you kind of like Wikipedia.

There’s also an Alexa integration, which I think will continue to become more and more valuable.

But right now, compared to say, just looking something up on your phone or on the computer, I don’t think voice interaction is quite there yet, especially with the vector because it’s just a little bit slow and cumbersome.

I think at best with that we could say it’s about a 1X.

Reducing Anxiety

The last element we’ll talk about is reducing anxiety. Vector was intentionally designed to be sort of pet-like. He looks up at you with these digital puppy dog eyes. It’s got a sensor on his back that you can stroke and he’ll kind of do this purring thing, which is interesting.

Generally speaking, he kind of wanders around and makes little chirpy sounds. He’s also very low maintenance. He doesn’t require walking or feeding. In fact, when he needs to recharge, he will drive himself back to his charging station to get juiced up.

From a pet perspective, there’s a real case to be made for it being kind of anxiety reducer. It feels good. It feels good to have Vector around. I would probably give it about a 2X value. Mainly for the reason that it doesn’t require virtually any effort from you to have Vector. So if you want a pet, but you don’t want all the work of a pet, Vector is a pretty good option.

And again, you do get some of those anxiety reduction benefits.

Final Score

When we look at all those together we end up with about a 2-3X value which for early adopters like myself is enough to roll the dice and take a chance on it.

For the Mass public,, they’re going to have to make some more strides before it’s going to be something that a lot of people want to adopt.

Opportunities To Improve

What are some things that they could do to make Vector get up to that 10X level?

It needs that one really killer application that it’s missing right now either on the functional side or the entertainment side.

Functionally speaking, with the Alexa integration could it drive around our kitchen counter and see if the fruit bowl is empty order fruit for us? I don’t know what else could it do functionally would be super helpful.

On the entertainment side, I want something that’s going to bring me back to Vector. Right now, it’s not enough to say I’m going to go see vector and tell it to do tricks. I need Vector to initiate things with me more.

It would be really fun to know what he was up to while I was away. Could he show me some pictures he took while he was exploring around? Could he tell me a story that he made up? Could he have some kind of attachment on his arm to draw a picture, or write a message or something?

I need something that’s going to compel me to come back and use Vector.

That’s it for the 10X teardown. I hope you enjoyed this. If you did, please give me a like, subscribe to the channel, or leave a comment. If you want some more resources about marketing, strategy, and branding you can go to mapandfire.com. We’ve got lots of free resources, worksheets, and blog articles. Check it out and I will see you next time.

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