I used to live in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. There my previous startup was Gaszen, a gas management platform that consisted of a gas sensor a backend and mobile and webs apps. The main idea with Gaszen was to never run out of gas. Maybe this is not a common problem in developing countries but in México only 7% of gas is distributed in pipes. Another 50% is distributed by trucks filling gas tanks in the ceiling of your house. As the tanks are installed in the rooftops, it is very difficult or impossible to know how much gas is left in the tank. So we made it simple, we built a gas level sensor that was installed in the gas which was connected to the internet and voilà, anyone could know their gas levels in real-time.
In the end, we face a lot of problems, we did learn a lot from our customers, and we did find a real problem with a huge market, but we ran out of money and ran out of energy. We definitely learned a lot!
One of the biggest mistakes we did was not to focus on the customer from the beginning, instead, we focused first on developing the technology, then sell and later on learn about what our customers wanted. Those were expensive mistakes, but I feel very proud of building and creating something from scratch that it actually riched the market, we managed to produce some units, managed to certify the product and have a bunch of happy customers.
Another problem we faced is the massive corruption in the gas industry. So many players earn money from stealing from their customers that there were few gas companies that were interested in the product. The market has a bunch of agreements between the competitors where they already agreed in which customers are theirs and which customers are from others. It is really nasty!
My team and I managed to raise near $1 M USD in investment, produced 3000 sensor units, have sales for around $80 K USD a month, and sell more than 150,000 Liters of LPG gas a month though our gas management platform. Somehow we didn't manage to convince new investors on developing the second version of Gaszen.
Closing Gaszen 2020
After 5 years of intense work, we decided to close Gaszen. It was a tough and sad decision. After Gaszen, I wanted to continue developing my engineering skills. I know I did a lot of technical and management errors developing Gaszen and this is why I wanted to go to a place where I could develop and learn new techniques, technologies and apply the best development processes. That is why I decided to come to Sweden.
AMónica my partner, and I took the decision to move to Sweden in August 2019 and 3 months later we were already installed in the Scandinavian Country. The first of November I was already working in a Consultancy Company in Klippan, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Developing Medical Devices
In Sweden, I work for a company that develops medical devices. It is fun and challenging. But it is also hard, knowing that a bug that you caused can kill someone makes you really pay attention to what you are doing. Every day I learn and become a better-embedded systems engineer.
Living in Sweden
Living in Sweden with Mónica my partner is a nice adventure, we make a good team and support each other as much as possible. She is a photographer so we enjoy travelling, taking pictures, eating, and enjoy our company. I like to show her new things about Sweden and we feel protected, safe in a great environment. It is a great place to live! Mónica studies the Swedish language, and it is hard but she makes a big effort every time and little by little she is getting better. In future posts, I will write more about our life in Sweden.