Ring Founder Jamie Siminoff Talks DIY vs. Pro Installs

Ring’s Jamie Siminoff discusses the concept of the video doorbell, outpacing the competition and more.

Scott Goldfine

Ring video doorbell inventor and company founder Jamie Siminoff got into building toys and gadgets at a young age.

“One time I even attempted to create a humane mousetrap that didn’t work but my parents liked the idea!” he says.

As they say, “bigger boys bigger toys,” and for Siminoff that added up to a big payday when he sold his startup to Amazon in 2018 for $1 billion. He remains Ring’s figurehead as the company continues to pursue security market penetration and innovation.

CE Pro‘s sister publication Security Sales & Integration spoke with Siminoff:

How surprised were you with how the video doorbell concept snowballed and took off?

JAMIE SIMINOFF: We worked really hard to make Ring what it is today, but we also got very lucky. When I was preparing to pitch Doorbot to the sharks on “Shark Tank,” we were close to running out of money. Though none of the sharks invested, the episode couldn’t have been better publicity for us, airing in November 2013 right before the holiday season. Suddenly we had orders flowing in and cash to keep the business running.

How has Amazon changed things, from R&D, marketing and ecosystem perspectives?

SIMINOFF: Amazon has let Ring operate on its own with their support, which I’m very grateful for. By joining Amazon, Ring is able to achieve even more by joining a such an inventive, customer-centric company. We are excited to be a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods and providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, communities and the world.

What is your present involvement, and do you have any other “tricks” up your sleeve?

SIMINOFF: My title is founder and chief inventor at Ring. Now that I don’t have to worry about fundraising anymore, I’m able to focus on my true passion, which is inventing on behalf of the customer and in pursuit of our mission. I come into the office almost every day and work just as hard as I did on day one.

How can Ring continue to differentiate and outpace the competition?

SIMINOFF: At Ring, we are always innovating and working to bring effective, affordable home security solutions to our customers. And like Amazon, we are customer-obsessed and always working to make sure our products are adding value to their lives, and most importantly, meeting their needs. But I think what differentiates us is our fierce dedication to our mission.

Like I said before, our mission to make neighborhoods safer guides everything that we do at Ring. I believe this is what allows Ring to stand out and truly make a difference in communities.

What is your perspective on the DIY vs. pro installation mix for devices like Ring?

SIMINOFF: While Ring devices are all designed for DIY installation, we do offer pro installation services via Amazon Home Services. Though some devices may require more advanced skills, we’re proud to offer customers choice and that includes offering true DIY experiences but also devices that may require some expertise.

A trained professional can always come and install your Ring device, but in most cases this is not typically needed given the DIY nature of our products. Those who prefer to hire a pro are typically seeking not just the installation, but also help with connecting to Alexa, third-party Works with Ring devices, like smart locks, and general education.

Where is the smart home going respective to video, voice command, IoT, AI, 5G, etc.?

SIMINOFF: As a group of inventors, we constantly push ourselves to develop and improve our products with new offerings that will best empower users with affordable, effective ways to manage their homes. This includes expanding to more third-party partners via Works with Ring so customers can continue to keep their home safe with the help of even more devices, services and technologies.

With the smart home market continually expanding, we’re working hard to invent these new products all in pursuit of accomplishing our long-term goal to make smart home security affordable for all and, in turn, make neighborhoods safer.