Eric Migicovsky, the former CEO of Pebble, wrote a post recently detailing why the smartwatch company failed.
In the days after our Kickstarter campaign, it was easy for me as the CEO to explain what our goal was. Ship the best damn smartwatch that we ourselves wanted to use. Over the years, I tried several times to reposition the product and company onto a variety of new tracks, but none were based on a strong long term vision.
Startup founder lesson learned — never forget to define and talk about your long term vision for the future. When things are going well, it’s easy to get caught up in growth. But you need this to carry your company through hard times.
Looking back with hindsight, I should not have aggressively grown the company without a stronger plan. We should have just stuck to what we knew best and continued to build quirky, fun smartwatches for hackers. Pebble, the product, was and still is awesome.
The whole article is worth the read if you want to dive deep into the details behind Pebble’s start, rise, losses, and eventual acquisition.
My thanks to Matt Birchler for initially linking this article to his blog.
If you want some supplemental reading, there is an article from Wired back in 2016 after the announcement of the Fitbit acquisition.