The Hardware Entrepreneur Podcast Episode 8: What to Learn from Pebble’s Story

27th December 2017

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In this episode, you’ll hear a short, dense analysis on the rise and demise of a well-known company, Pebble, which produced the first smartwatch

In this episode host Balint Horvath, chose to talk about the topic of Pebble as the news of their closure was a shock. The goal with telling you their story and shocking ending, as always, is that you get to learn from others, in this case from a company’s story that had its highs and in December its low moment. So hopefully, you’ll get some actionable insights.

The overarching question in this episode is: how can a company that broke records two times on Kickstarter for getting 10 million and later 20 million of backing end up being sold for only somewhere around 34 to 40 million USD and having to stop producing?

Episode Notes

  • The goal for this episode - [0:25]
  • How can a company that broke records two times on Kickstarter end up being sold and having to stop producing? - [1:40]
  • Pebble’s beginnings - [2:00]
  • The single most important reason for the not so happy end - [3:17]
  • Other reasons leading to insolvency - [6:15]
  • Two ways out of this problem of margin vs scale - [8:18]
  • The third, often not considered way out of the margin vs scale problem - [9:35]
  • Marketing styles necessary for consumer brands - [10:30]
  • Job To Be Done concept applied on hardware - [12:16]
  • Summary - [14:07]

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