My name is Kevin Liu, and I have a confession:
As an early employee at Kettle who has been on this ride from concept to prototype to product, I should be the first to buy into the benefits of Kettle. Maybe because I work in a timezone 11-14 hours removed from the rest of the team, I have maintained a healthy skepticism of whether or not a hardware button that silences my communication channels, and provides me the quiet space to focus and do my best work, was something that would help me in my daily work life. I have used quite a few tools in my long career (i.e. twist, trello) that have promised to optimize my workflows and change my habits. Somehow, I intellectually understood the benefits Kettle would offer, but I still expressed doubt that I would actually need and use the device. The entire company, including the CEO, heard me express my skepticism of whether I would actually use the Kettle Key at our company off-site retreat in San Francisco in late August 2019.
In October, I received the latest Kettle Key – an IoT device that links to the hotspot on my mobile phone and lets me signal to my coworkers all over the world when I need to focus and don’t want distractions. My mother taught me to admit my mistakes, so I humbly proclaim to the world: Kettle Key has changed my life.
I carry the Kettle Key with me in my backpack, along with my Apple AirPods. It is an essential part of the tools I need to get stuff done in coworking spaces & cafes throughout Taipei. It has become a habit, a ritual even, to open my backpack, take out my laptop, AirPods and Kettle Key, and get cranking.
After a month of regular usage and self-reflection, I realize there are 4 key reasons why the Kettle Key has converted me from a skeptic to a believer.
- Easy Onboarding – The Kettle Key worked straight out of the box, it was preconfigured to my wifi and work email / calendar / slack. I couldn’t believe how frictionless that first time went, and with one click of the button, a green light indicated successful connection to wifi, and I was off to the races. My work Slack, email and desktop notifications were immediately muted. In order to unmute, I just clicked the button again. Easy Peasy.
- Portability and Durability – Some of our earliest prototypes were big, cumbersome and fragile. I can drop the Kettle Key into my backpack, and use it on the go, without worry. Since my lifestyle is very nomadic (in Washington one week, Taiwan the next) I plan very carefully the items that are critical to maintain my productivity, and a bigger device would not make the cut.
- Hardware Form Factor – Design and aesthetics are very important to me in the devices I carry around every day. I have been seduced by Apple, Samsung, Tesla to appreciate craftsmanship. The Kettle Key fits nicely in my hand, and as a kinaesthetic learner, I find myself fidgeting or spinning the Kettle around my fingers while I’m thinking.
- It’s Useful – The Kettle Key hardware is a gateway to habit formation. The software integrations and services are the true magic and the reason that I use my Kettle to manage communications with my coworkers and build a habit of deep focus every day. Kettle Coach reminds me with calendar invites and gentle nudges to prioritize deep focus and wellness breaks throughout the day.
Did I mention Kettle has changed my life?