Let me tell you a story about Ring.
This company was started in my garage in 2011 as a lab called Edison Junior. We were a small team working on a lot of different products, but we stumbled onto building the first-ever smart doorbell. We called it DoorBot. We had some very tough times at the beginning, but thanks to a few lucky breaks and a lot of hard work, my team and I have been able to grow Ring to more than 1,000 team members and over 1,000,000 users.
Today, new products like the Ring Floodlight Cam are changing outdoor home security and proving their ability to help reduce crime. We are immensely proud of the impact we are having to make neighborhoods safer, and we are grateful to our neighbors for their continued faith in us.
It is understandable why the established old guard in the home security business might feel threatened – we can deliver products with superior capabilities at a fraction of the price. Instead of innovating and developing new products itself, one company is trying to bully and intimidate us. ADT – the largest security company in the world – is suing Ring and one of our team members in a desperate attempt to push us around.
How did we get here?
In January, Ring signed a contract with a company called Zonoff to build a new product with us. They had a world-class Internet of Things platform that integrates physical devices with web-based services, which they licensed to companies like Staples, Legrand and others. We paid them a substantial sum of money to kick off the project.
We didn’t just hand over the money, of course – we signed a contract, and the contract had terms to protect us if something went wrong. If Zonoff went out of business and couldn’t develop the app for us, we would get an escrow copy of the code so that we could finish the job. This is pretty standard – in fact, it was part of Zonoff’s contracts with its other customers – and it only makes sense. We paid them to work for us. We should get the code they were working on.
Well, in March, Zonoff ran out of money and could no longer afford to pay its employees. As I understand it, the company had been attempting to sell itself but was unsuccessful. Their work and our money disappeared. In accordance with our contract, we got the escrow copy of the code.
Worse, all of their people had to be “furloughed” – a fancy term for not getting paid anymore. An extraordinarily talented group that we considered our friends were out of work. So I said screw it, let’s go talk to them. Let’s find a way to save some jobs and make them part of our team. So that is what we did… and then put all of our heads back down and got back to work.
And apparently that made ADT mad, and worse it exposed a serious mistake made by their management.
You see, ADT invested in Zonoff, was their largest shareholder and was close to buying the company at one point. Recently, Zonoff had a deal to sell to someone else and that deal fell apart. When it did, ADT decided to stop funding the company and Zonoff went broke. We have to assume ADT was letting the “asset” just go away to prevent the competition from having access to it.
Of course, that’s not what happened. They made a mistake, and we took advantage of the opportunity to hire a powerhouse team.
I get that ADT is upset – it’s never fun to make mistakes. And I can understand why they’re scared. Competition may be good for customers, but it’s bad for ADT. Now, ADT could have taken their lumps, toughened up, and moved on, but that’s not what they did. Instead, –they decided to file a malicious lawsuit against Ring.
But their lawsuit is a sham. It’s nothing but a desperate attempt to bully us, a rising competitor and we will not be intimidated. Their claims are baseless and we fully expect to prevail in this case.
ADT can try to distract us, but they will not succeed. Our focus is and will remain on changing the way our neighbors think about home security. Ring is immensely proud of the impact we are having making neighborhoods safer, and we are not going to let anyone sidetrack us from carrying out our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods.
And we certainly are not going to let ADT or anyone else push us around.
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