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Sun 7 Apr 2019 03:21 PM

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'No silver bullet' for Middle East entrepreneurs, says US 'unicorn' founder

Jamie Siminoff's firm, Ring, was acquired by Amazon last year for more than $1 billion

'No silver bullet' for Middle East entrepreneurs, says US 'unicorn' founder
Five years after being rejected by investors on the ABC reality television show ‘Shark Tank’ in 2013, Ring was acquired by Amazon in a deal reportedly worth over $1 billion.

There is no “silver bullet” that will allow entrepreneurs and start-ups in the Middle East to succeed other than luck and hard work, according to the CEO of an American tech start-up acquired by Amazon for over $1 billion.

Ring, which was founded by Jamie Siminoff in 2011, specialises in ‘smart’ doorbells and security cameras.

Five years after being rejected by investors on the ABC reality television show ‘Shark Tank’ in 2013, the firm was acquired by Amazon in a deal reportedly worth over $1 billion.

Even before the deal, the firm attracted investment from Richard Branson, as well as a celebrity spokesperson in the form of former NBA basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.

When asked what advice he would give regional start-ups, Siminoff told Arabian Business that there is no “silver bullet” and that he doesn’t credit his firm’s success to TV exposure or celebrity endorsements.

“All those are little things,” he said. “But it’s thousands of things together that made the company work. It is not one thing. That’s the hard answer of this business.

“Businesses only survive because of a lot of luck and thousands of things that we executed on to actually make it work.”

Siminoff added that he generally believes that “advice is a terrible thing” and that he declines to give any to start-ups.

“When you give advice, you’re giving it from a position of what you’ve seen and the experiences you’ve had, and every situation is different,” he said. “I never give advice.”

The one bit of advice he does give, however, is that entrepreneurs should find a project they are passionate about, rather than simply a money making venture.

“Stop asking for advice. Get in your garage and build something,” he added. “It’s going to be hard and chances are you won’t make it, so do something you are 100 percent behind it and excited about it, and it hopefully has a positive impact on the world.”