E711: IFTTT co-founder & CEO Linden Tibbets on building his leading IoT connector of services & 3rd-party devices, essential applets, Alexa everywhere & the dominance of digital assistance




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about this episode

Linden Tibbets is the co-founder & CEO of IFTTT, one of the leading IoT solution platforms that automates simple tasks and controls a variety of devices. Linden comes from the world of programming, and worked as an engineer connecting API’s together at the world-renowned design firm, IDEO. He had the original insight of getting services like Twitter, DropBox, and Instagram working together, and the vision of a platform that is the standard for information access. The simplest way to describe IFTTT is as a personal automation platform. Users create simple “Applets” that can execute simple “If This Then That” statements. Currently, IFTTT has about 10 million users, 50m+ applets, and 400 partners. From FitBit to Philips Hue, from finding your phone with Alexa to turning on your TV, IFTTT is paving the way to an automated lifestyle that can save you time and make the technology you use every day a seamless part of your life.

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03:12: Jason introduces today’s guest, co-founder & CEO of IFTTT, Linden Tibbets

05:12: Linden shares his original frustration that led him to create IFTTT

07:44: Linden explains why homes have been the driving force of IFTTT

09:42: Why is Alexa superior to Siri?

14:34: Predictions about Apple staying open or closed

20:44: Twitter and Instagram

21:52: Amazon Alexa recipes

24:00: Other popular recipes include weather and Craigslist

26:12: Privacy and data liquidity

32:48: Linden gives an example of a service IFTTT had to unintegrate

38:32: IFTTT raised $40m and now has 30 employees

40:34: Predictions about when the digital assistant will be a reality

46:40: Other surging recipes in enterprise computing

51:26: How IFTTT works with lightbulbs such as Hue

55:38: FitBit recipes

01:10:57: Jason shares his predictions for IFTTT and what he thinks will be the tipping point

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  • Jens

    Mentioned books for anyone interested:


    The Three-Body Problem — Liu Cixin, Hugo Award
    Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind — Yuval Noah Harari
    The Wright Brothers David McCullough (audio book)
    The Undoing Project — Michael Lewis
    Thinking fast and slow — Michael Lewis
    Hillbilly Elegy — J. D. Vance
    Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart — Gordon Livingston (Collective wisdom of a psychiatrist)
    Shoe Dog — Phil Knight

    Linden Tibbets:

    Chaos Monkeys — Antonio García Martínez
    Cryptonomicon — Neal Stephenson (Snowcrash from same author)
    You are not a gadget & Who owns the future? — Jaron Lanier
    The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads — Tim Wu
    The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires — Tim Wu
    Stories of Your Life and Others — Ted Chiang
    The Making of the Atomic Bomb — Richard Rhodes (audio book)

    Feel free to add anyones I missed

  • thanks for adding this comment…. audible.com/twist for a free book!

  • Bill Gross

    Thanks SO MUCH for adding. It was an amazing episode, and amazing list of great books

  • Thanks! I was just looking for exactly that!