The Influencer Collective is a group of Idea Technology trailblazers who are rethinking how businesses, companies and people operate in the ever-more-empowering Innovation Era.
Two years ago, Pebble was a pioneer in the burgeoning smartwatch category. How do you continue to stay ahead of your competition?
Pebble lives and breathes smartwatches—we’ve been doing so for the past seven years. Feedback from a community of over one million users helps us focus on what it means to make a truly useful wearable.
Pebble is the smartwatch you keep on your wrist. Between our experience and the deep insight we get from users, we win by building the smartest, most useful smartwatch out there. Everything we do is devoted to delivering an experience that people love.
What would you identify as the fastest-growing trend in the smartwatch category, and how has Pebble addressed this in future development plans?
Pebblers are a diverse community with one common thread: They’re busy people who want to get things done, especially around three core pillars—notifications, customization, and controls. Pebble Time shines at delivering these interactions that people find most valuable in a delightful and efficient way.
Pebble is the friendly gatekeeper on your wrist. It organizes and filters the firehose of information that comes throughout the day, bundling everything into easily digestible items you can act on without distraction. We focus on technology and interactions that make your life better by being truly useful and considerate of the real estate being occupied.
Crowdfunding in the era of Idea Technology is more impactful than ever before. Could you speak a bit about your decision to crowdfund Pebble on Kickstarter?
Pebble was born from crowdfunding. 68,000+ backers supported our vision three years ago and planted the seeds for a community that’s now more than one million strong. That community put smartwatches on the map.
Getting our latest and greatest in the hands of our most fervent supporters made perfect sense when it came to launching Pebble Time on Kickstarter. Nurturing and growing the deep connection we have with our community is how we want to lead the charge in this space.
What is Pebble doing to enable the Pebble BYOD ecosystem—to enable Pebble to coexist in their customers’ daily lives? Work/Play/Balance?
The ability to use Pebble with any device helps bring it to every part of our user’s lives. Regardless of what phone they use, Pebble is there to help users organize their digital life and get more done. Users can check their emails and calendar reminders to stay on top of work, get notified when their contacts are trying to get a hold of them, and track their activity with fitness & sleep -tracking apps. Essentially, users can keep their phone tucked away, live in the moment, and still never miss something important.
As your team continues to grow at a rapid pace, how do you manage to incorporate creative thinking into daily operations at Pebble?
We’re building a team that—like the product itself—is a foundation for others to expand upon and be inspired by. Whether you’re an intern or an executive at Pebble, we encourage everyone to bring their unique perspectives, insights, and ideas to the table. Activities like hack nights, developer conferences, off-site team sessions, and field research activities keep folks stimulated and in touch with creative opportunities. You never know where inspiration for Pebble’s next innovation will come.
What technologies have helped accelerate your company’s success?
The way the web—at its best—can connect a group of like-minded individuals in service of a greater goal is in Pebble’s DNA. A smartphone bringing the Internet to my pocket got me thinking about a better way to stay connected with wearable technology, sparking my idea for Pebble in the first place. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter helped take our idea, make it real, and build a community around it. Social platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and Facebook help keep us in touch with a global audience, tell our story, and build a two-way dialogue with our users. At the end of the day, Pebble is a company born of the Internet. Much of what we’ve done to both start up and grow our company branches out from how the web lets us connect with each other.
Since Pebble products offer a variety of functionalities, what do you see as the most popular use? Do you have plans to expand this functionality?
Pebble Time is about keeping you connected without distractions. Notifications and filtering phone calls were key to Pebble’s early success. Pebble Time’s new timeline interface takes this even further by efficiently organizing your actionable information on your wrist; your next train, your favorite team’s winning score, and your daily step count are all available at a push of a button. All there to keep you on track throughout the day.
What’s next for Pebble?
Short term? Getting Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel onto our Kickstarter backers’ wrists with a brand-new interface that will delight them from the get-go is top priority.
Giving Pebblers a regular flow of new features and updates, and bringing the timeline interface to the rest of our lineup is what’s up next.
Long term? Pebble is first and foremost a wearables company—it’s what we do. Down the road, we see Pebble as a part of the equation whenever you’re putting technology on your body.
Eric Migicovsky is the Founder of Pebble