M.R. Asks 3 Questions: Nancy Xiao, CEO of Mason

A tech and hardware industry nerd is what Mason was looking for to lead their company into its next stage of innovation – and that is exactly what they got with CEO, Nancy Xiao. 
 
Responsible for day-to-day company leadership, Nancy has overseen the company’s 

meteoric growth, expansion and platform adoption while pushing the boundaries of VR to enable companies to build their own smart hardware product lines.
 
 

 M.R. Rangaswami: What are some of the biggest challenges you believe your technology can solve?

Nancy Xiao: When it comes to bringing new dedicated devices to market, there are significant barriers to entry—so many, in fact, that most entrepreneurs don’t even begin to attempt it. Developing and deploying a smart device requires a sophisticated and costly combination of hardware, software, and delivery services, much of which is a black box to a company that might be focused only on building the best retail checkout experience or patient medication diary software.

Creating a fully integrated dedicated device experience for that retail checkout or patient diary company requires enterprise-grade hardware, fully customizable software operating system, the application software itself, and the ability to manage the entirety of the product lifecycle in addition to final end user delivery (e.g., logistics of connectivity, provisioning, kitting, and shipping the product to the consumer).

It’s wildly difficult to find enterprise hardware that is flexible, meets the needs of various use cases, and enables agile development practices, while providing full control and data-based insights needed to develop great customer experiences. Unlike software, hardware can’t be recompiled or easily modified into a new version; in order to purposefully design a device for an exact enterprise use case, it needs to be rebuilt starting from the core circuit board. Additionally, existing consumer devices only offer limited control over features and capabilities. Without specialized talent, which is hard to find and expensive, connecting, supporting, and protecting devices in the field at scale is impossible.

Mason was born to fill this inefficient gap and finally decode the black box that is connected device technology. With the Mason Smart Device Platform, access to expensive hardware and the underlying software is democratized, enabling any business to get ahead of the competition and innovate. Mason eliminates the complexity and specialized capabilities required to create and bring to market dedicated devices with its one-stop shop for hardware, OS, and logistics. Compared to consumer devices or relying on a manufacturer to spec out a system, the Mason platform provides a more flexible path for procuring and designing enterprise-grade smart devices as envisioned. Our flexible usage-based model allows our customers to rent or buy our hardware and purchase licenses based on their device needs for the platform. Customers can also purchase turnkey services like logistics, connectivity, special kitting or branding, and more. Mason dramatically lowers costs and speeds time to market, eliminating the need to hire specialized talent.


M.R. How is Mason enabling the creation of smart products that benefit humanity? 

Nancy: At Mason, we envision a world where smart device development and delivery is accessible to all. In our vision for the Era of Democratized IoT Innovation, software deployment and physical device procurement, provisioning, and shipment can become one seamless experience that empowers innovators at enterprises and startups to bring their ideas to life faster and more easily. By breaking down the barriers to entry to bring to market dedicated smart devices, we hope to empower entrepreneurs and enterprises to create transformative solutions across industries including healthcare, government, retail, and hospitality that will reshape human experiences, and ultimately, benefit humanity in every aspect of life.

The Mason Smart Device Platform can be used to move physical world problems—like equitable access to healthcare, clinical trial data collection, and air quality monitoring—into the digital world. From there, these problems can be easily solved through software engineering. By leveraging innovative technology, our customers can break away from archaic tools and provide more modern solutions.

Our customers including YPrime, Heal, Pascall, and HealthSaaS in industries such as remote patient monitoring, clinical outcome assessment, research universities, reform and rehabilitation, disaster preparedness, and construction/construction monitoring use Mason to more easily and quickly build, deploy, and scale connected smart products. YPrime simplified its clinical trial management globally by combining their platform with Mason’s hardware, software, and logistics. The company is now able to deliver and manage a complete solution for over 200 clinical trials to more than 50 countries using over 25,000 Mason devices. Heal leveraged Mason to improve end-to-end control of its mobile infrastructure so its doctors can stay focused on nurturing long-lasting relationships with their patients. With over 150,000 house calls delivered, it is a fast-emerging player within the telehealth industry. We also collaborate with Twilio to deploy connected devices to its global customers and deliver a seamless end-user experience.

 

M.R.: How has prioritizing diversity and inclusivity helped fuel innovation for Mason?

Nancy: At Mason, we strongly value inclusivity and are committed to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the company. Since we are building diverse products for humanity, we believe the team behind the devices should be diverse as well. 

We have a women-led board of directors, 58% of Mason’s leadership team are women and 45% of the whole company are women, which is up 20% from the previous year.

We’ve built an exceptionally talented, diverse team that is focused on innovation and inclusivity, which not only rethinks the way that hardware development is done—revolutionizing traditional industries—but now also defies the status quo of how businesses are led. Being inclusive of diverse demographics across all levels of the company have enabled us to challenge norms and build excellence into our product and culture, as well as work together to best serve and create products for our customers.

 

M.R. Rangaswami is the Co-Founder of Sandhill.com

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