Quick facts

Founders: Joanna Montgomery

Founded: 2010

Location: Runway East Moorgate

Website: View here

Pitch Little Riot to us in one sentence

We make products that let you feel close to your loved ones when you can’t be with them.

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?
I studied interaction design at university and developed a real frustration around the way we all communicate with each other using technology. We’re constantly face-down in a device and always being interrupted or distracted. I wanted to create technology that lets us just… sit in the same room as someone, even if they’re on the other side of the world.

What was your journey like to get where you are?
Oh man, so long and so turbulent you wouldn’t believe it. It was 7 years between the idea and shipping thousands of consumer electronic products out into the world. I might as well have been on fire and riding a unicycle for the whole time.

When it’s all over, how do you want to be remembered?
I’d like Pillow Talk to be remembered as one of the first pieces of technology that facilitated genuine human connection in a very noisy digital world. Personally, I’d like to be remembered for finding a way through adversity against all odds.

Where do you see your industry going?
I’m hoping we are starting to see a shift towards more human-focussed technology. That designers and creators will start to build things asking “what can we give back to our user?” rather than trying to monetise their attention. Imagine a world where metrics were defined around how much joy we brought to a person’s life – not how many minutes a day they spent using an app.

What would you do in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

I’d be the first to get eaten because there’s no way I’m spending the last moments of my life running.

What made you choose your current location?

I started my business in Newcastle and was part of a really great co-working space that was really supportive and a great environment to be in. I wanted the same experience in London, and I found that in Runway East. I was a single founder and still work alone a lot, so being around other people means I always have someone to bounce thoughts off.

What is unique about your business?

We were the first people to build ‘digital presence’ technology.

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

Always trust your gut instinct.

Which company (other than your own) do you admire and why?

I’m a big fan of Technology Will Save Us – empowering the next generation to understand and build tehcnology, rather than be mindlessly controlled by it.

Who is/was your first client?

We launched B2C first, so our first customer was a young chap in the United States called Aaron, whose girlfriend lives in The Netherlands.

If your company was a genre of music/artist what would it be?
Bob Dylan; somehow still alive after all this time.

In my spare time I like to…

Take things apart and see if I can put them back together again. Go to the gym. Answer interview questions.

What is your favourite quote?

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

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