When Shree and I first met Jamie Siminoff, he was the Founding CEO of a cool little company called Simulscribe, which turned voicemail audio into text.
He was a tough competitor with a great sense of humor, and had enough perspective to know that startups are hard, and that a few shared beers and laughs break up the insanity very nicely. We also had a common competitor that provided no end of hilarious material: the overfunded, infamous, and batshit-crazy Spinvox.
Jamie’s latest venture — Ring — is also his most colorful and successful, now with 400+ employees, world wide offices, and nicely growing sales.
Never one to be conventional, he had a company-saving appearance on Shark Tank (see below). Running on fumes at the time of the taping, he didn’t get a take-able offer, but got enough publicity from the episode to generate millions in revenue, and get the company — then known as Doorbot — over the hump.
Ring is conceptually simple: it’s a video doorbell that records and sends video of what’s going on by your front door to wherever you are. Designed to thwart bad guys, a Ring sometimes picks up other critters:
Of course, there’s nothing simple about startups, especially hardware. We talk about his growth, the tradeoffs he makes, how he continues to let his mission shape very basic decisions in the company. Jamie is the middle of the IoT battle, and has super well informed opinions about home hubs, Alexa v. everybody, and much more.