The Past, the Present and the Future of Stir
I started Stir started back in 2012 with a passion to enable a more intuitive office environment that could help inspire people to do their best work. In the years since, we’ve shipped Stir Kinetic Desks to every state in the continental US for every setting, from home offices to Fortune 100 companies. After early success with our consumer desks and their patented haptic reminders, sensor-based A.I. features and gesture-based touchscreen interface, we caught the full attention of companies designing next-generation environments for their employees. This interest intensified when we launched the Stir Kinetic Desk L1 along with Stir Analytics for Business, a complete solution for real-time sit/stand desk analytics. Our breakthrough was influencing how much, and how often people stand during the day with our signature user experience, and then showing data correlation with employee productivity and fitness. We’re especially proud to have created a system that allows businesses to do great things for their employees, and at the same time show their shareholders the data that proves the value of their investment in Stir products.
“Our breakthrough was influencing how much, and how often people stand during the day with our signature user experience, and then showing data correlation with employee productivity and fitness.”
Stir continued to gain momentum with high-profile large commercial projects like the headquarters of Live Nation Entertainment in Beverly Hills and hands-on reviews by widely renowned journalists like David Pogue and Geoffrey Fowler at the Wall Street Journal. Geoffrey said in his review of the Stir Kinetic Desk that “[other] desks can’t address the root of the problem… willpower” and finished by calling Stir’s product “The Tesla of desks”. This added to a very long list of positive commentary from media and customers that we are very grateful for.
Back then, we started to receive inquiries about working together with commercial furniture’s biggest players and also the broader technology community – including multiple familiar names in the Fortune 100 whose products have a spot in many of our pockets and living rooms. This wave of interest eventually led to a competitive bidding process that included nine of those companies signing agreements to evaluate the acquisition of Stir’s technology.
After careful deliberation, we made a deal with Steelcase, the largest commercial furniture company in the world. Steelcase acquired key patents and technology needed to create the effectiveness of Stir products, along with other intellectual property related to items such as technology for managing distracting sound in office environments. Since getting to know the Steelcase team years ago, I’ve been consistently impressed. Steelcase has an indisputable track record of creating products and environments that help people thrive where they work, a rich culture of human-centered design, and has been a pioneer in creating integrated technology solutions for office environments. Our companies share a common interest in the importance of movement throughout the work day and Steelcase has an unmatched global market reach. It’s a great home for Stir’s tech.
Following the transaction, Stir will continue to be an independent company, unaffiliated with Steelcase. As part of the transaction, we negotiated to continue to sell Stir’s products directly and will be continuing to support our customers with enthusiasm. We’ve also retained significant intellectual property assets within the company in a broad range of areas, and our team is hard at work putting these assets to good use; stay tuned for more on that.
I am extremely proud of all that Stir has accomplished to date and I’m especially grateful to the team members, investors, partners, and customers that made it all possible. What I strive for in my career is to create things in the world that have the potential for broad positive impact and great business success. At Stir, we did that by being a pioneer of IoT for the office and building the world’s first intelligent standing desk. Our customers have frequently told us that Stir products have been life-changing for them. That feedback makes the intense effort of our team over these past years worth every moment.
“the future of the commercial furniture industry is …. creating environments that use contextual data for personalization, that adapt and anticipate, that create actionable insights, that interact without interrupting, and that empower people instead of trying to control them.”
I think the future of the commercial furniture industry is to artfully integrate technology with the physical world to create environments that better serve the people within them. As I discussed in a blog post years ago, that means creating environments that use contextual data for personalization, that adapt and anticipate, that create actionable insights, that interact without interrupting, and that empower people instead of trying to control them. It is our team’s goal that our technology and products continue to have a material impact on making that vision a reality, and we look forward to continued opportunities to serve our customers and clients in the times ahead.
P.S. I love this video we made a while back about the patented haptic reminders that we call Whisperbreath™. These haptic reminders were designed to emulate a deep breath of air, and have been a key part of what has made Stir Kinetic Desks so popular and effective. The word Stir means “movement”. Stir also means “inspiration” (as in “a stirring speech”). And Stir means “doing things differently” (as in “stir things up”). I like how this video captures the spirit of all that. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33iYZCeRFI0