Alexa, How many engineers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Let’s face it. “Internet of things” and home automation has traditionally been the domain of rich nerds who watched too much Star Trek. Engineers love complexity control and advanced settings. The problem with many of the integrations is that every manufacturer is attempting to corner the market with their own protocols and services, literally making "screwing in a lightbulb" a major difficulty for many consumers just want life to be a little easier.
When Alexa launched, we were surprised that fully 35% of the public beta users were OVER the age of 55 years old, and there were many who reported some sort of mobility impairment or disability like blindness. For them, Alexa wasn't just a cool tool, the Echo was easier to use than a smart phone, and enabled them to age in place and maintain their independence because it made the simple tasks that get more difficult with age easier to do - unless we made it complicated... which we kind of did.
This storyboard served as the vision for the connected home experience SHOULD be like for customer, but more importantly, why. People buy into the promise of technology for the problems it solves, and the freedom it can give them, not because they want a more complicated light switch. Putting the story of “why” IOT might be important to a customer was a crucial step to make Alexa what it is today.