When Ring, the home security company that has dominated the market for video doorbells, was bought in February by Amazon for a reported USD1.1 billion, it sparked media headlines for the company’s Founder and Chief Inventor and YPO member Jamie Siminoff. Ring marks the latest of a series of startups for the serial entrepreneur, including another successful company, a voicemail-to-text transcription-software maker called SimulScribe.
For Siminoff, however, these ventures were not enough. “Nothing I was doing was impacting the world in a meaningful way,” he says. In between all the PR attention and integration meetings following the Amazon deal, YPO caught up with Siminoff to discuss secrets of success, how Ring plans to ward off competition in an increasingly crowded segment, and lessons to pass on to YPO peers and other entrepreneurs.
You have been a lifelong inventor. How is Ring different from your previous inventions?
Ring is the first company that I have started that has a true mission to impact people’s lives in a positive way. At Ring, we’re focused on more than just making a product. We’re focused on our mission of reducing crime in neighborhoods. At Ring, we’re doing something much bigger.
How important is creating social impact in your inventions?
Inventing things that have a positive impact is everything to me. Everyone at Ring, including me, comes to work every day with the one goal of making neighborhoods safer. It drives everything we do. Doing things for money is a terrible motivator; doing something that makes the world better and that can make some return, that is something that gets a team motivated to work hard.
You once described yourself as “relentless.” How do you deal with rejections and find the motivation and determination for comebacks?
I have always used rejection as motivation since I was a young. There have been many ups and downs with Ring, but we have always remained determined to deliver on our mission or reducing crime in neighborhoods and the importance of that mission always kept us going even in the hardest times.
With copycat doorbells hitting the market, what distinguishes Ring from the rest?
At Ring, we deliver our mission to our Neighbors (what we call our customers). What other companies do is not important to us. Making our Neighbors safe and reducing crime in their neighborhoods is our only focus and goal.
Are you able to keep the entrepreneurialism alive with the expansion of Ring?
I believe in giving autonomy to the team so that they can stay focused on what’s most important – the company’s mission of making neighborhoods everywhere safer – and worry less about meeting numbers or performance requirements. Both Ring and Amazon are committed to keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive in Ring because that’s what got us to where we are today. Amazon is focused on letting us do what we’re good at and it’s been great to work with them.
What do you think your next venture will be?
My only goal is to continue to reduce crime in neighborhoods and build Ring into a multi-generational, impactful brand.
What advice would you give established business leaders facing digital disruptions?
Stay focused on what you need to do for your customers; do something that makes people’s lives better; and work hard. With that, I think every business can be successful.