I used to live in León, Guanajuato, Mexico. My previous startup was Gaszen, a gas management platform consisting of a gas sensor, a backend, and mobile and web apps. The main idea with Gaszen was to never run out of gas. Maybe this is not a common problem in developed 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 on 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 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 faced a lot of problems, we did learn a lot from our customers, and we did find a real problem with a vast market, but we ran out of money and ran out of energy. We learned a lot!
One of the biggest mistakes we made was not focusing on the customer from the beginning. Instead, we focused first on developing the technology, then on selling and later on learning about what our customers wanted. Those were expensive mistakes, but I feel very proud of building and creating something from scratch that riched the market; we managed to produce some units, certify the product, and have many happy customers.
Another problem we faced was the massive corruption in the gas industry. So many players earn money from stealing from their customers that few gas companies are interested in the product. The market has a bunch of agreements between the competitors where they already agreed on which customers are theirs and which customers are from others. It is nasty!
My team and I raised nearly USD 1M in investment, produced 3000 sensor units, have sales for around USD 80K a month, and sell more than 150,000 Liters of LPG gas a month through our gas management platform. Somehow we didn't manage to convince new investors to develop the second version of Gaszen.
Closing Gaszen 2020
After five years of intense work, we decided to close Gaszen. It was a challenging and sad decision. After Gaszen, I wanted to continue developing my engineering skills. I know I made a lot of technical and management errors developing Gaszen. This is why I wanted to go where I could grow and learn new techniques and technologies and apply the best development processes. That is why I decided to come to Sweden.
Mónica, my partner, and I decided to move to Sweden in August 2019, and 3 months later, we were already installed in the Scandinavian Country. On 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 complex; knowing that a bug you caused can kill someone makes you 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 lovely 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 enjoying our company. I like to show her new things about Sweden, and we feel protected and 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 significant effort every time, and little by little, she is getting better. In future posts, I will write more about our life in Sweden.