Interview with Marion Guerriero, VP of Marketing and Communications at Waverly Labs
What do you do at Waverly Labs?
I oversee all aspects of marketing and communications for the company, the products, and of course, the community of followers and backers. My work also includes managing international media and e-commerce, in four languages.
Tell us more about your personal background?
I was born and raised in the multicultural city of Marseille, France. I am a third generation French of Italian descent. My mother worked for the French National airline so I grew up traveling and living in various parts of the world picking up on languages and cultures not only across Europe but also Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, the southern portion of Latin America, the Caribbean, South East Asia as well as the Indian subcontinent. I have been living in New York City for the past 11 years.
What about your professional background?
I completed my undergraduate degree in Marketing in the States. Then I went for my master studies in International Economics and Political Communications in South Korea, followed by an MBA in Digital Business Communications and Marketing in Paris, France. I also have a license as a software engineer. For the past 9 years, I have worked across the spectrum of the marketing communications mix in multiple industries internationally incl. not-for-profit. I now focus on developing and working for Human Tech, EdTech and Linguistics projects.
A little over a year ago, shortly after the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign skyrocketed, the co-founders were looking for someone to manage the growing audience and help them build the Waverly Labs brand. I left the advertising agency where I worked to join the adventure and I became Waverly Labs’ first employee!
What do people ask you most often when they hear about Pilot and your work at Waverly Labs?
First they ask: “does it really work?”, and then “are you getting enough sleep?”
So… “does it really work”?
We all come from different backgrounds; we are a very international team so we can test and get critical about the Pilot experience. The translations are good and the user experience is very fluid. With the goal to constantly improve the quality of the translations we provide, we iterate on the software side on a regular basis.
On the translation side, I hear very good feedback from the Pilot Speech Translatior app users and that’s great. Using Pilot is choosing to position yourself at the crossroads of the globalization era and the digitalization phenomena--it's revolutionary today but it will become the standard tomorrow. I think the audience has understood this which explains why so many units have been sold to date in pre-launch.
What do you respond to people who complain about delays?
First, it is important to understand that we are small team, an early-stage startup, with zero external funding and we are working on delivering the international market one of the most revolutionary consumer tech products of our time. It’s a challenge!
On the customer support side, our crowdfunding campaign was one of the most successful pre-sale campaign of all time. Our business operations associate is working around the clock to cater an audience with hundreds of inquiries on a daily basis, from followers to backers, and of course the media, in multiple languages. We simply cannot meet the customer support expectations one would have from an established business.
On product delivery, usually the backers complaining about delays are the ones who are new to crowdfunding. The IndieGoGo pre-launch and launch campaigns went viral internationally, so the existence of Pilot was shared beyond your usual “techies” who know about hardware consumer products in pre-launch, and the delays they are exposed to. As a result, we are spending a significant amount of time educating our incredibly diverse audience around the precepts and implications of partaking in a crowdfunding campaign.
The average delay for a hardware consumer tech product launched on crowdfunding is 9 months, so rest assured: Pilot is on track!
We are committed to providing the best quality product out there and we remain as transparent as we can regarding product development and our manufacturing timeline.
There are already products like this in the market now. What makes Pilot different?
The Pilot translating earpiece has superior speech recognition capabilities and the translation technology is based on a hybrid model built upon different sources combined with our own. Pilot is designed like no other earbud because we have chosen to put ergonomy at the center of user experience. We use a technology allowing you to share one of your earpieces so that only one Pilot kit is necessary for a multilingual conversation to take place. There is no other translating earbud available on the market offering all the above.
What makes Pilot worth the wait?
I don’t know about you but gathering my very-international family to spend our first Christmas with no language barriers sound like a pretty incredible experience!
Marion Guerriero, VP of Marketing & Communications