Name: Ian Bernstein
Job Title: Founder / Head of Product
Company: Misty Robotics
Years in the Industry: 25
Name: Ian Bernstein
Dealerscope’s 40 Under 40 Honoree 2021
Describe your current role.
Currently I work with our platform customers to support them on the robot applications and use cases they are building out for our robots. I also work with our product team to build out new features and functionality for Misty to improve the experience.
What accomplishment(s) are you most proud of?
My robots at Misty and my previous company, Sphero, are used for many things, but I’m most proud of their use cases with kids. Since I started Sphero in 2010, I’ve gotten messages from university students saying they got interested in robotics, technology, or programming because of Sphero as young kids, and are now turning it into careers.
What do you like best about your job?
I get to manage teams, but I also get to be hands on. I love how creative I get to be, but I also get to be an engineer. It’s that fusion of creativity and engineering.
What technology are you most excited about at the moment?
Advances in AI that allow us to do advanced computer vision and voice interaction on our robot. Being able to recognize objects, for instance, gives the robot context about the environment it’s in, and that allows us and our customers to build pretty incredible experiences.
Who in the CE or technology industry do you look up to, and why?
Apple, like a lot of people. I also like Bose for the product experience of their new wireless headphones.
What career advice would you give to people just getting started in the CE or technology industry?
It’s a lot harder now (or impossible) with COVID restrictions, but usually it’s to spend time in Asia around the Shenzhen/Hong Kong area. There are 14,000-plus factories there that can make or source anything you could possibly need with the logistics infrastructure to get your product anywhere in the world. They are super hands-on, and you learn how things are made, all within a couple hours’ drive. Personally, I’ve spent about three years total there out of the past 11 years.
What, in your opinion, is necessary for the CE/technology industry to thrive in the next five years?
Adapting to a world [which is] mid-, and hopefully, soon, post-COVID. Not being able to travel to parts of Asia has made things difficult. And embracing new technologies for prototyping and manufacturing.