Exploring the Success of Smartwatch Startups: Impulse and Pebble
This article is a summary of a YouTube video "Eric Migicovsky at Startup School SV 2014" by Y Combinator
TLDR The video explores the origins and success of the smartwatch industry, focusing on the stories of Impulse and Pebble, two startups that gained massive adoption through innovative marketing strategies and dedication to creating customizable, waterproof products.
Pebble started as a bike computer that evolved into a smartwatch through Kickstarter in 2012.
A man pitches his idea for a company called Impulse, which shows text messages, emails, and calls on a wristwatch, and funds it through pitch competitions and borrowing money from his parents, leading to the launch of the first 3D printed prototype of a SmartWatch in 2009.
A startup accidentally promoted their product and gained massive adoption after sharing it with CrackBerry in 2009, while another shared their prototype at CES to get press coverage.
They broke into a university to build the first 500 watches by hand and applied to Y Combinator.
Over 100 apps were developed for the Impulse SmartWatch after the launch of its SDK, while the creation of Pebble was driven by the SmartWatch's incompatibility with iPhones until iOS 5.
Pebble founders turned to Kickstarter and raised $10 million in 30 days for their watches after failing to secure investment, with help from Paul Buchheit's advice.
Pebble's success was due to their ability to offer a customizable product that did three things really well and their dedication to waterproofing, resulting in the shipment of 85,000 watches worldwide.
The Pebble platform has a large community of developers and partners, and a website allows for easy creation of over 250,000 unique watch faces.