Eric Migicovsky on Why Pebble failed:
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.
There is a lot to take way from this article, so I will keep it brief, but it’s rare to see a founder admit the mistakes made and especially so publicly. I love Pebble, it was the first smartwatch I truly used and was the first and only time I helped found something on Kickstarter (RIP my red founders edition).
Despite its relative success between nerds, you’d be hard pushed to find an average person who knows what a Pebble watch was, and this is part of the failure.
Around this time Apple came out with the Apple Watch and we thought the smartwatch market was about to explode. So in a quest for big sales growth, we figured our 2015 strategy would need to shift focus to a broader market, away from our core early adopter market positioning.
It’s reasonable to expect boom time once Apple got involve, however instead of appealing to the crowd they had already made they tried to appeal to more people. Instead of remaining true to their hacker nature, they pumped money into features and tried to become mainstream. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I wonder if, at a time that even the Apple Watch didn’t know what it was, Pebble could have carved out a place in the heart of users that wanted something hackable.
However, we can but dream. I am not certain that Pebble would still be alive today. They would have undoubtably been swallowed up by a bigger company, but it would have been great to see what they could have achieved with another few years under their belt. As great as seeking investors can be for boosting a business, the constant need to see return and strive to be a success is dangerous.