20VC: The Memo: The Story of Ring: Scaling from an Idea in a Garage to Richard Branson Investing and a Reported $1BN Amazon Acquisition | Why Building a Brand is Like Making Great Wine | The Secret to Hiring Success; Hire Marathoners and more with Jamie Siminoff

Posted on 1st March 2023 by Harry

Jamie Siminoff is the Founder and Chief Inventor @ Ring, with Ring Jamie, created the world’s first Wi-Fi video doorbell while working in his garage in 2011. Since Ring’s launch in 2013, Ring has helped make thousands of neighborhoods safer all around the world. As part of the journey, Jamie raised over $385M from the likes of True Ventures, Felicis, First Round, CRV, Upfront and more. In 2018, Amazon acquired Ring for a reported $1BN. Prior to Ring, Jamie founded several successful ventures including PhoneTag, the world’s first voicemail-to-text company, and Unsubscribe.com, a service that helped email users clean commercial email from their inboxes. He successfully sold both companies in 2009 and 2011 respectively.

In Today’s Episode with Jamie Siminoff We Discuss:

1.) From Creating the First Wi-Fi Doorbell to $BN Acquisition:

  • When was the moment Jamie realized he had to create the world’s first Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell?
  • How di Richard Branson come to be an investor in Ring? What was the process?
  • How does Jamie advise other founders when it comes to the question of whether it is valuable having business moguls as investors in their business?

2.) Crucible Moments: From Lawsuits and Near-Death to $22M in Sales in a Day:

  • When Jamie hears the words “near-death experience” what is the moment in the Ring journey that comes to mind?
  • How did Jamie get through a crippling lawsuit and come out selling $22M in 24 hours on QVC?
  • How did Jamie feel when he placed a $500M order with manufacturers when he only had $100M?
  • What does Jamie believe was the hardest phase of the business?

3.) Jamie Siminoff: The Leader:

  • Why does Jamie want to hire marathon runners? Why does the analogy make for good hires?
  • Does Jamie start from a position of trust with new hires and it is there to be built or start with no trust and it is there to be gained?
  • Does Jamie believe he is a tolerant leader? What does he mean when he says, “I want to see the dirt under your fingernails”?
  • Why does Jamie believe that building a brand is like making great wine?
  • Why does Jamie really hate customer surveys? What should be done instead?

4.) Selling for $1BN to Amazon:

  • How did the Amazon acquisition come to be? How did the discussion go?
  • Why did Jamie decide then was the right time?
  • When you sell for a $1BN, does the cash hit your account soon? When did Jamie actually receive the money? How did he feel when he saw it is in his account?
  • What does Jamie believe Ring did so well to make the acquisition a success?
  • What did Amazon do well to ensure Ring was integrated most effectively?
  • What are 1-2 of the biggest lessons Jamie has learned from being within Amazon?

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