Jamie Siminoff, The founder of Ring, is the proof of the quote of Mark Amend: “Rejection doesn’t mean you aren’t good enough; it means the other person failed to notice what you have to offer”.
In 2013, Siminoff appeared on the US version of Shark Tank with a little business called DoorBot that was flirting with failure.
Operating out of his garage, building a video doorbell product that enables people to see and speak to visitors at their door remotely, Siminoff was desperate for investment, having underestimated the cost of taking his invention to the market.
Seeking $US700,000 for 10% of the company at the time, Siminoff was unable to convince the likes of Mark Cuban, Lori Griener, Kevin O’Leary or Daymond John to invest at an acceptable price.
“The Sharks were extremely nice,” and didn’t apologize for rejecting him, Siminoff says. “You can’t blame an investor for missing out on something they heard for 30 minutes on a TV show.”
He’s a constant inventor who has been tinkering since he was 7 years old. Siminoff remembers projects like a blanket through which he could pump icy water from an aquarium to cool down on hot summer days as a kid. And despite early success with other businesses, like SimulScribe, offering voicemail transcription services, or Unsubscribe, which promised to declutter email inboxes, he wasn’t fulfilled. None of his ventures had captured his whole imagination.
So in late 2010, Siminoff set up shop in his garage and put all his focus into dreaming up new products. There was just one problem: He couldn’t hear the doorbell ring from his work space. He looked for a product that could buzz his phone with a notification when someone rang and couldn’t find one.
“I literally built myself a WiFi doorbell,” he says, not seeing it as a future business but a solution to an annoying problem. He remembers thinking, “I need this damn thing so I can be in my garage inventing.”
Then his wife remarked how much safer she felt with a device that could tell you who was knocking before you let them inside. When he began to envision a bigger mission around home security, he realized he’d found his idea.
But that was just the beginning…
While not securing any investment, the show boosted Siminoff’s market credibility, helping to see his business through the rough.
“The exposure gave us immediate, much-needed credibility and awareness. This critical boost came at a time when it was hard for us to see the light,” he wrote.
“After ‘Shark Tank,’ we started selling Doorbots like crazy and that drove sales to $3 million within the year,” Siminoff says on ABC’s update “As the business grew, we didn’t want to be just one product, so we built a whole line of home security solutions and re-branded it as Ring.”
Three years later, none other than Richard Branson was convinced of something the other sharks couldn’t see and invested $28 million in the business — more than four times its 2013 value.
Branson got his money back, and probably then some. Amazon bought the newly renamed Ring earlier 2018 for a reported $1US billion.
As for Siminoff? He’s returned to where the ride started, but in a new, presumably much less stressful, seat as a shark on season 10 of the long-running show.
“I’m the first entrepreneur to have gone from pitching the sharks to sitting in a shark’s chair — something I couldn’t have imagined even in my wildest dreams,” Siminoff wrote.
Siminoff brings a unique perspective to the shark chair as a former contestant, but it’s already pretty clear what he’ll be looking for.
In his view, hard work (multiply your expectations by four), a clear business mission and a good deal of luck (at least he’s honest), are all staples of successful business stories.
Despite Amazon owning Ring, Jamie still continues to steer the company until his vision for safe neighbourhoods is fulfilled. This is the story of Jamie Siminoff who has against all odds achieved his American Dream and will inspire new entrepreneurs to never give up on their ideas.
Now that he’s part of the Amazon family, Siminoff had two new products that came out in 2018, and they work in conjunction with Alexa, Amazon’s voice computing platform.
Ring’s Stick Up Cams are the first indoor / outdoor security cameras from the company. Priced at $179.99, they were available in December 2018 and can connect to either battery or indoor power.
The new Ring Alarm connects to locks from Schlage, Yale, Kwikset and Danalock and be compatible with Alexa Guard. The alarm also interacts with Alexa so you can arm and disarm the device with your voice. Monthly service starts at $10.
“Alarms are only good if people use them, so here’s a way to make it super easy to put your house in a state that can make it easier to operate,” Siminoff says.
For Siminoff, challenges aren’t a reason to quit. He says he goes for a long run, picks himself up and refocuses.
“It might be the competitive side of me or something, I’m just not willing to fail,” he explains. “I think the only way to fail is to stop, and so because of that I’m just not willing to stop.”