Jamie Siminoff is a longtime innovator who frequently spent time in his garage testing out concepts. A lot of inventors made a fortune from their innovations and luckily, Siminoff was one of them. So, he wished there was a way to link the doorbell to his phone since he hated missing important visitors because he couldn’t hear the bell ring. After that, the Ring doorbell was introduced to the world. A simple innovation that made him rich.

A doorbell with a built-in motion sensor works up to 30 feet away. The Ring Doorbell camera is activated and starts recording video of its surroundings whenever it detects motion. Nobody on Shark Tank was interested in funding his business because of this doorbell. However, his company has developed since then, culminating in a $1 billion sale to Amazon.

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A Simple Problem That Lead To The Billion Dollar Idea

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The doorbell was a problem for Siminoff because he couldn’t always hear it and didn’t always want to check to see who had rung it. For this reason, he developed the initial version of his smart doorbell, Ring.

Ring is a company that specializes in smart doorbells equipped with HD cameras, motion detectors, microphones, and speakers for bidirectional voice communication. In 2013, it was one of the first of its kind to hit the market with this smart doorbell. Several new smart doorbells have been introduced since then, each with its own set of advantages.

The premise on which Ring functions is straightforward–When your doorbell is pressed, a signal is sent across your home’s WiFi to Ring’s cloud servers and then back to your phone. Much credit goes to the world wide web that changed since its inception, as it does for most modern breakthroughs.

Following installation, the Ring doorbell connects to your home WiFi network, sending video and other data to the Ring app on your smartphone. Once the information the doorbell collects is sent to the app, homeowners can access it from any location with the help of the internet.

How The First Smart Doorbell Was Created

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After his wife complained that she couldn’t hear the doorbell, he decided to create a cell phone-connected doorbell. With the encouragement of his wife, Erin, who works in film development for 20th Century Fox, he emptied his savings account to order the first batch of 5,000 doorbells from a factory in Taiwan, despite his fears that consumers would view his product as a $200 toy.

Then, in May of 2013, he had lunch with a fellow entrepreneur who encouraged him to apply for Shark Tank and offered him the email address of a producer working on the popular business pitch show. As Siminoff was driving home, the producer called, and he promptly responded with a message.

He recorded his bit in April, which aired in November of that same year. They all turned him down when he proposed to the sharks that they invest $700,000 in exchange for a 10% equity position. A month after appearing on Shark Tank, revenues increased by almost $1 million. Poor video and audio quality and a flaky WiFi connection meant that DoorBot’s marketing and sales efforts fell short.

Siminoff spent the following nine months visiting 50 clients in their homes and responding to every email sent to his business.  He definitely impressed prospects and clients as he took home some business. There is still his email address printed on every box. Up until around six months ago, he visited at least once each month to assist clients in fixing issues such as weak WiFi connections.

So that they could work together on a redesign and issue a line of credit to fund the first 30,000 devices at $100 each, he reached out to Foxconn, the Chinese behemoth that manufactures iPhones, in March of 2014. In the meantime, he had to move quickly to secure funding. Upfront Ventures investor Hamet Watt recommended the new name, “Ring,” which has connotations of both a doorbell and a protective barrier around a person’s home.

Jamie Siminoff Closing The $1 Billion Amazon Deal

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Siminoff even obtained proof that Ring deters intruders with the help of the LAPD. Wilshire Park is a middle-class Los Angeles area with a high rate of home burglaries in 2016. Thus Ring teamed up with the LAPD to distribute 40 of their doorbells to the residents of that neighborhood. Even though the neighborhood is not among the richest neighborhoods in America, they still needed the device.  Devices only protected 10% of the homes in the region, the LAPD reported a 55% drop in burglaries within six months. This drop was attributed to the devices deterring would-be thieves who target empty homes.

Amazon acquired Ring at a reported $1 billion in 2018. Due to the agreement with Amazon, Ring will relocate its Los Angeles operations to a new facility. In Santa Monica, California, 250 of the company’s 2,000 workers are housed in four adjacent, one-story concrete structures: a converted warehouse and a former art gallery. Because of the lack of available desk space in Santa Monica, Siminoff has to share an office with an assistant and prop his computer on top of a filing cabinet.

Since releasing its first video doorbell in 2014 for $199, Ring has experienced tremendous growth and is now available for as little as $59. Ring has expanded its product offerings to include doorbells, security cameras, home automation systems, and smart lights. Alphabet (GOOGL) is likewise gunning for a dominant position in the home-monitoring market. According to a report by Strategy Analytics, in 2021, Ring sold over 1.7 million smart doorbells, giving it a significant lead over its competitors and effectively establishing itself as the market leader in the video doorbell industry.

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Sources: CNBC, Investors, Reuters

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