Sutro started with looking at the world through the lens of water. We looked around, and saw everything that was blue, and zoomed into those that contained hydrogen and oxygen pairs (or triples, well – two hydrogen for one oxygen… whatever that’s called). We asked the question – what has water looked like, what does it look like today, and what does the future hold?
Through those 3 questions, we saw a trend that scared us.
The Beginnings of an Idea
Sutro was born in India to solve the issue of drinking water. Through many of the folks that we saw working on water issues, everyone wanted to make the ‘Jack (or Jane) of all trades’ of water filters.
“We’re going to fix water — once and for all”, they said.
Well, fixing water is a little more complicated, because of the same fix you have for drinking water looks very different for agriculture, and even more different for swimming pools or food and beverage operations. In some applications you add chemicals, some you don’t want any, others you add nutrients. The mix varies.
We took this concept and created what is called the Water Genome. Now, you’re probably wondering – I’m at a pool monitor website blog, why the heck is this guy talking about saving the world’s water. Because there is one thing that is similar in all of these water(s), and that’s that it needs to be treated (or changed)…somehow.
As an example, when you grow some grapes, you add nutrients (nitrates) into the fertilized water. When you want to go swimming, you add chlorine or acid to fix and treat your water. The loop is the same.
Measure, Understand and Treat. Then Repeat
We set out back in 2015, using off the shelf sensors. We very quickly realized that the sensor technology just doesn’t cut it. In the measure-understand-treat-repeat chain, the measure was broken. If you put garbage into that system, you’re going to get garbage out.
So, we set out to fix the measure. We took this ambitious goal to try to change the way that water was measured. All the other technologies out there were expensive, they were hard to use, and were not intuitive. So, we fixed that.
It Only Took 5 Years
Now, we have a technology that can measure, the understanding is all done in the cloud (and it’s a pretty nifty system), treatment is done by humans, and we repeat three times a day.
Our first foray is for the swimming pool, and it measures 3 parameters. The pH level, free chlorine, and alkalinity.
We understand the problems that pool owners face because Ravi used to work at his father’s pool store tending to swimming pool (and spa) customers day in and day out. Through the lens of running a pool store, we wanted to build a product that would not only be the top tech in the market but also provide an experience that Ravi’s father instilled at the store.
Hard problems are (obviously) not easy to solve. We didn’t want to be the me-too product, and also not just try to take some stuff off the shelf and shove it in people’s water. Garbage in will give you garbage out.
Our vision for Sutro can be distilled to the following points:
- We want to build the first in class customer service operation.
- We want to be the Tesla of water sensors.
- We want to offer a white-glove treatment for our users.
- We want to be the best in class sensor that is out there on the market.
- If You have a problem, we want to be the solution.
These points will be how we think about building our products and how we want the world to look and feel. We’re going to write more about what our vision means and why you should select Sutro as time goes on. We hope that you’ll join us and love your pool (or spa) again with Sutro.