I haven’t posted until today about the end of the company formerly called Pebble. In part because for the longest time I didn’t want the end to be real. I have been a watch lover for many years. Back into the early years of my life as a teenager and the first watch I got (right on the cusp of being a teenager). I love the technology of watches. I’ve backed a number of cool watch projects over the years. But the one that was always the best one was Pebble.
I rode the first Pebble wave up and now I am riding the last wave as it crashes into shore. The devices started out on Kickstarter as an idea. The campaign exploded and they became a sensation. So much so that they were for a time the top all time technology campaign on Kickstarter. The smart watch craze was beginning, and Pebble was out in front.
The problem with a great idea and no ability to create exclusivity or a permanent patent on the concept of smart watch, Pebble would soon face competition from some very large R&D budgets. Samsung and Apple both soon released smart watches and the dominance of Pebble was ending.
Sad to see the company go, they were, are a great example of the dream Take your idea to the world and see if it is the best way to do things. It was Pebble and I am going to miss you. I am going to miss the cool apps and the cool watch faces. While the new apple watch can do more, it doesn’t have the open source community creating incredible watch faces. The day after the horrible events in Paris there was a watch face. Solidarity went beyond simply caring, you could show it on your wrist. Not by the way that caring isn’t enough ever, it is, just being able to express that care constantly was a good thing.
Pebble was iconic.
Pebble was the first.
As that door opened and the competitors popped through things began to change quickly. With change comes innovation. As I said the Apple iWatch can do a lot more now, than Pebble could in the end but in the begging, it was the story. I still have my slightly damaged Kickstarter Pebble. It is a watch I keep in my watch case along with many others. I am someone that loves watches anyway. But Pebble gets a place next to my heart.
It was the first to mix technology that was flexible and a watch. To connect to the phone and create the screen as a service. Where the screen (Pebble) could be anything you needed it to be. Turn by turn directions? No problem there is an app for that. Sharing images? Sure, do it on your smart watch screen. Walking today? How many steps? Pebble can tell you.
I am going to miss the team from Pebble. I know, they have moved on to security and greater potential and I am a Fitbit users so I am excited to see what they can do in an established (albeit struggling) company that has a fairly established market. Fitbit is, has been a dominate player in the fitness wearable market for many years. The reality for Team Pebble that they will still be competing in a similar space they will just have a large company behind them for security.
I am going to miss the pebble watch. I got a refund on the new Time2 watch I ordered. That I know was a legal act to finish up the campaign. I will miss that watch, that team and in the end I will miss the exciting moment when once again I was one of the few wearing something. There was a time when I was the only person on many flights with a smart phone. That hasn’t been the case for many years now but there was a time. There was a time when I was the only one walking around with a smart watch. Then there was a time I was the only one with pebble. Now the market has evolved, there are many more devices out there. No company is an island. We are all pieces of the continent and as pebbles roll unabated to the sea (sorry Mr. Milton for the destruction of paradise lost). My pebble has rolled now to the sea and I for one will miss it!