Many people will write the history on why Ring became an enormously successful company and why it became a real-world unicorn in a world when many startups are anointed that merely on paper. Since I had a ringside seat to the company before it really existed all the way through the end I thought I’d offer my version and what I think it means for our future.
If you don’t know, Ring offers home security products that started with a video doorbell, then video floodlights, outdoor stickup cams and now in-home security features that innovate in-home security alongside outside protection. It is an LA-based company that was recently acquired by Amazon, which you can read more about in this incredibly well-researched article.
But why did Ring succeed when the entire market kept saying that Nest was going to be the winner? Why did Ring become an enormous success when it produced a hardware product and the market keeps saying, “hardware is too difficult to scale?”
Here are my views …
Founder, Founder, Founder
At Upfront we talk regularly about how 70% of our investment decision in Seed and A rounds is the quality of the entrepreneur and 30% is the quality of the idea. Of course we have to believe that there is a viable market, a differentiated product offering and a chance to build something defensible but if you do those basics right you still get crushed without an amazingly talented founder.
The minute your company reaches its peak acceleration in terms of growth is when all of the sleeping giants wake up to compete with you and will spend massive amounts of money to keep you from capturing a growth market and other talented entrepreneurs will raise large amounts of venture capital as people start to see value in the market.