Eric Migicovsky shares his learnings from Pebble and working with hardware at TIA Singapore 2018
Time is a startup’s scarcest resource. For Eric, it was his greatest source of inspiration, success and wisdom.
Eric Migicovsky was still in college when he first started his earliest iteration of Pebble back in 2008. Back then, smartwatches and other wearables existed as mere pet projects, rarely getting any recognition and support by the market.
The Pebble journey
Fast forward a few years later, Pebble has grown from its humble beginnings in the labs of the University of Waterloo in Canada, breaking records on Kickstarter as the most successfully funded project on the platform with over US$230 million worth of watches sold, to its later acquisition by the Fitbit empire in 2016.
Eric and Pebble’s journey has been a tale of struggle, success, and inspiration, offering bits and pieces of invaluable wisdom for any aspiring entrepreneur in the arena, and not just for those working solely with hardware.
What Pebble taught Eric about building hardware
If there’s anything that Eric has learnt about his adventure with Pebble, it’s to get your product to users as fast as possible, focus on your product’s core functions, and work on refining your key message.
The first lesson is especially true for those working with hardware. Your users and their feedback are your product’s compass – without them, you’re building blindly. Eric stresses that having your customers see and use your product at the earliest stage possible allows you to learn about their preferences and challenges, helping you to actually build something people want.
Additionally, Pebble has taught Eric the importance of making sure things worked well. As much as aesthetics and appeal attract users, it’s essential to have the product’s core functions work smoothly. Instead of obsessing over multiple features, make sure your product does what its meant to really well, then scale up according to what your users want.
Eric also advised that your core message should be uncomplicated and straight to the point. Beyond the purpose of differentiation, your message acts as a vehicle for awareness and branding for your current and potential customers. Building your key message effectively allows you to establish a strong sense of what your product is all about and a community of supporters and followers who align with your product’s message.
Joining Y Combinator as a partner in 2018
Although Pebble was acquired by Fitbit, it hasn’t stopped Eric from creating an impact in the tech industry. Presently, he serves as a mentor to hundreds of rising startups in his new role at Y Combinator. It’s here where his past experiences with Pebble help aspiring entrepreneurs zero in long term, especially when 15 percent of participating companies at the seed accelerator work specifically with hardware.
Hear from the man himself on Day 1’s Main Stage
Want to hear more about Eric’s journey? You’re just in luck because he will be taking Tech in Asia Singapore 2018’s Main Stage on May 15. He’ll talk in-depth about the lessons he has learnt throughout the Pebble journey, his current role in helping startups as a partner in Y Combinator, as well as its future initiatives and plans.
The awesome stuff doesn’t end there. With just a conference pass, you’ll gain access to multiple content stages (such as our debut Blockchain Stage and ever-popular Developer & Product Stage). In addition, look forward to learning from other inspiring individuals like Eric and innovative entrepreneurs of startups exhibiting at Startup Factory, and more.
Just a week more to go before one of Asia’s largest tech conference – don’t miss out on your chance to be part of it!
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