From Simulscribe, To Edison Jr, To Doorbot, To Ring, To Amazon

Yesterday it was announced that Ring had sold to Amazon.

The Gotham Gal was an early seed investor in Ring’s predecessor Doorbot, which came out of an incubator called Edison Jr that she was also an investor in. So it was a nice win for her (and me since we are partners in everything).

But the story I want to tell is about Simulscribe.

Ring’s founder and CEO, Jamie Siminoff, started a company called Simulscribe (now called PhoneTag) back in the early 2000s. I met him around the time USV got started in 2003/2004 and the value proposition for Simulscribe was so compelling to me:

stop checking voice mails, get your voice mails translated and sent to you in email

I loved it and the Gotham Gal and I became early users. We still use the PhoneTag service!!

Jamie tried to get me and USV to invest in Simulscribe a bunch of times, but that never happened. I was worried about the lack of defensibility and other things.

Jamie eventually sold Simulscribe/PhoneTag and started an incubator called Edison Jr.

That’s when the Gotham Gal became a seed investor in Edison Jr in 2012.

Edison Jr launched several projects and one of them really took off. That was Doorbot.

So Jamie shut down Edison Jr and focused all of his energy on Doorbot, which eventually changed its name to Ring.

And now, with the sale of Ring to Amazon, Jamie has finally had his big win.

We kind of knew it was going to happen when we first met him fifteen years ago.

But it took quite a few twists and turns. As these things do.

Jamie has two things that make him an amazing entrepreneur.

He makes great products that solve real problems. Both Simulscribe and Ring are great products.

He has incredible infectious energy and optimism and salesmanship.

As inevitable as this outcome seemed fifteen years ago, it still took fifteen years, endless struggles, and a lot more.

That is the way of startups and always has been.