Delighted for Jamie Siminoff and the brilliant team at smart doorbell and home security company Ring, which has been acquired by Amazon. As proud investors in Ring, it is exciting to see where they will take the business next in developing more innovative products.
Since Jamie founded Ring in 2012, it has helped make around a million customers’ lives easier and homes safer. Like most good ideas, it is a simple solution to a complex problem. Ring doorbells record live video of doorsteps, which users can watch on their smartphones. It makes answering the door while you are out, collecting deliveries - and preventing crime - much easier. Their growing suite of home security products follow the same purpose.
Ring’s story is a great lesson in perseverance and ingenuity. Jamie tried to come up with a great business idea for years, making prototypes in his garage in California. While he worked, he was frustrated that he kept missing calls at his front door. So he rigged up a link from the doorbell to his smartphone so he could answer the door remotely via video.
Jamie told his wife, who loved the idea because she could always see who was at the front door and felt much safer. Before he knew it, friends who visited were all interested in the doorbell. It dawned upon Jamie that this accidental invention was the best business idea he ever had, and he created Ring.
Of course, it wasn’t a simple path from idea to success. Jamie pitched the idea on Shark Tank (with its original name, Door Bot) and was rejected. When I went onto the show as a guest judge, I was delighted to remind my fellow Sharks of this! Of course, I’ve missed my fair share of opportunities over the years; it comes with the territory of being an entrepreneur.
From those roots, Ring now employs more than 2,000 people and is fulfilling its purpose of reducing crime in neighbourhoods. More than half of burglaries in the US happen during the day, when no one is home. As Ring grows further, and expands its home security offerings, it will continue to tackle this problem. When we invested in Ring, I wrote that it could have a global impact. I’m thrilled that is proving to be true.
James and I first met in a lift in Brussels many years ago. From that chance meeting, it has been wonderful getting to know him and the team as they have built their business. Ring’s progress is a fine example of why you should see opportunities rather than obstacles, and not take no for an answer if you truly believe in your idea.