What is the problem?

This world is coping with a big problem. More and more devices are being produced and more and more are being thrown away. Throwing away devices is harmful for the environment and often financially disadvantegous for the user. So why do people throw their devices away instead of repairing them? We concluded that there are many factors which play a role, but the main problem is the current inconvenience that occurs when you want to fix something.

Another question is, why do people even let their stuff break down? Lifetimes of for example phones are getting shorter and shorter. Why don't people take better care of their appliances? A main reason is because people don't know when they have to maintain their products, there is a lack of insight.

Fixi solves it all

Fixi tackles both of these problems. By using sensors in home appliances data will be collected. This data will be sent to Fixi who analyzes it and detects whether there is a problem. With Fixi problems get detected before appliances break down, i.e. there will be better maintenance of products which results in a longer lifespan.

When a problem is detected, Fixi will notify the user and connect the user and a repairman to get it fixed conveniently. This all will happen quickly and the user will get insight in the profile of the repairman, so it knows whether the repairman is trustable and conveniently available. While this creates convenience for the user, it also creates more convenience for repairmen.

Sounds cool, but is there business in it?

Yes, while Fixi saves the environment, there is also money to be made. Sounds too good to be true right? Fixi doesn't employ any repairmen, they are signed up to the system. Because of this, the only costs Fixi has are development and maintenance of the platform and customer support.

Fixi earns its money by taking part of the repair fee. Both the user and the repairman pay 5% commission fee to Fixi for every repair. This fee is still lower than the charge of traditional maintenance companies, since Fixi doesn't have to pay rent, insurances etc.

Fixi at work

You can see how Fixi solves problems by looking at our pitch deck.

Inspiration; bringing the car to the home

We have been brainstorming a lot about why we don't fix our own things but instead buy new ones. Convenience, which includes many aspects such as time, costs and lack of motivation, was one important outcome.

But when thinking about the sustainability aspect, we figured that our discussion had mainly been focused on fixing stuff, whereas it would be way better to prevent the fixing by maintaining it. We got inspiration from the car, where maintenance and fixing is a normal part of the process. One conclusion was, that a car gives hints about neediness of maintenance, so we wanted to bring this to the home as well.

Challenges we ran into

  • It was hard to be futuristic while also being realistic.
  • Focusing on part of the problem, since the problem is too wicked to solve at once.
  • You very easily copy business ideas of already existing businesses. But we think that our final result is a good combination of combining best practices and thinking about future technologies.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Starting from the source and ending at a profitable product.
  • Being critical of our own ideas.

What we learned

  • You should always think on the intersection of technology, design and business.
  • The problem of the current "throwing away culture" is harder to solve than expected.

What's next for Fixi

  • Gather reactions from more users and repairmen and based on those improve the design
  • Make a first prototype
  • Invest till IoT and AI are not just buzzwords anymore
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