Yes, it’s true: Pebble is dead. Both the company and the devices. Fitbit is picking up some of the intellectual property and some of the software engineers, but all of the hardware is gone. There will be no warranties and no replacements and no making good on the most recent round of kickstarter campaigns. There will be some refunds for some people, but probably not until late spring 2017.
Pebble watches already out in the world will continue to work “as normal," but “functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future,” Migicovsky said.
( there were a couple of third party pebble apps for SmartThings.)
Just as significant is going to be an evaluation of what crowdfunding offers consumers that you don’t get just by waiting for the product to appear on Amazon launchpad.
Pebble’s first round of funding was exactly what kickstarter was intended for: A good idea that couldn’t get conventional funding.
The second round of campaigns, though, were more of what kickstarter has been becoming lately. An established company that wanted an easier way of getting funding for an iterative product. Without the pesky review and defend process of dealing with venture capitalists.
“It looks really cool in the video” plus the promise of a six-month delivery date that will never be met is enough to generate thousands, sometimes even hundreds of thousands of interestfree dollars.
Pebble was definitely one of the big success stories for the first generation of kickstarter projects, the unconventional good idea group. Whether its ultimate failure will have any impact on the second generation of easy money iterative pitches remains to be seen.
(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy)
Wow… This is shocking news!
They were “one of the good guys” for actually delivering with that incredible first Kickstarter Project.
And company failure is perhaps the “reward” for taking the easy path. KS and IGG continue to be on ethical thin ice.
Fitbit is like the iPhone of watches. You ain’t cool if you ain’t got one.
I really think their brand is now the most recognized in “smart” watches. Most of the women I know simply “love, love, love” their Fitbits (or want one). Unless Apple or Samsung reduce their prices, or Jawbone actually lets people know theirs exists, Fitbit should be around for a while.
But, who knows, we definitely have seen the death of bigger companies than these.
Kickstarter fancies itself a kind of fundraising vehicle for things like school groups who wan to start a community garden or some artist who wants to make and release a CD or a video or whatever. Truth is, these big hardware projects pull in huge dollars for them. And from the company side, yes, they see it as an easy way to generate some essentially free capital. I have been burned on a Kickstarter project and frankly, I have no plan to fund another.
As for Pebble, well, they suffered the consequences of pioneering an industry that the giants could easily jump into once it was established. I have two, but have used neither in months.
As for FitBit, they are what the cool kids have. I prefer my Garmin Vivoactive. But I actually run and bike. Fitbit is not for even amateur athletes. Its for everyone.