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30 Days of Awesome: Eric Migicovsky (Pebble) | LinkedIn

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September 02, 2013

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Eric Migicovsky (@ericmigi)


A team of Canadian engineers set all kinds of kickstarter records when their Pebble smartwatch catapulted to worldwide notoriety, but their success was anything but overnight.

I was on the other side of the table when these guys interviewed for Y Combinator. They’d proven capable of building a few hundred of their prototype watches and continued to do well during the program. When it came to fundraise, however, most investors were still too skittish about ‘hardware startups’ because of all the costs associated with producing a physical object, especially such a technical one.

After trying AngelList — normally a great place to draw investors from around the world — they turned to kickstarter, which at the time as a relatively unproven crowdfunding platform. Pebble wanted to raise $100,000 — they raised $10,000,000.

What’s been the biggest rejection in your career?

Starting a company felt like a long string of rejections from customers, investors and peers. Biggest one would be pitching 15 investors at the beginning of 2012 (before we went on Kickstarter) and having every single one reject us.

What’s the biggest barrier to entry for your industry?

Pebble is building a wearable platform…chicken + egg problem at first.

How’d you first build an audience?

Sent out blurry cam photos to tech blogs of my own product.

When did you first realize you were on to something?

When blogs started to cover inPulse and we got worldwide attention.

Who’s coming up in your field who we should we all know about?

Looking at new tech (Lockitron and Spark Core), new blogs ( and amazing developers (@KatharineBerry of

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be like you when they grow up?

Build projects, make friends and always think of cool new stuff to create.


Eric and his team exemplify the idea that one has to embrace failure as an entrepreneur, not just once or twice, but fifteen times in the case of their 2012 fundraising effort. Thankfully, more and more innovation, like kickstarter, is helping dogged founders circumvent investors who are stonewalling their ambitions.

What started out as a "long string of rejections from customers, investors, and peers" (read: everyone) has become the product that trail-blazed a path that

How will you handle rejection?

I’m counting down the thirty days until October 1stโ€”when Without Their Permission hits the shelvesโ€”by profiling 30 innovators who exemplify the spirit of my book. Share-away! Everything is (almost) under 140 characters.

2 of 30: Eric Migicovsky is one of the creators of the Pebble smartwatch, UWaterloo engineering grad and Vancouverite-at-heart. You can follow him @ericmigi

Did you see yesterday’s profile of Chase Adam of Watsi? Click here for a dose of awesome.

Featured on:Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Posted by:Alexis O.

via 30 Days of Awesome: Eric Migicovsky (Pebble) | LinkedIn.


Born in 1964, business owner, from Woodbridge, VA, owns ExcitingAds! Inc. ( and blog ( He was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. His elementary school was ST. Michael's Convent High School, Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated high school from ST. Bonaventure's Convent High School, Hyderabad, Sind, Pakistan. His pre-med college was S. A. L. Govt. College, Mirpurkas, Sind, Pakistan. Graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan in 1990. Earned equivalency certification from Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA in 1994.

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