The Billion-Dollar Company That ‘Shark Tank’ Rejected Will Blow Your Mind

A young entrepreneur pitched his nascent idea to the panel of multi-millionaire sharks, only to be sent away with his clunky prototype.

The Billion-Dollar Company That ‘Shark Tank’ Rejected Will Blow Your Mind


From Sydney’s unsellable $100m penthouse to the $3 billion superyacht submarine that no one wants to buy (and, at that price point, who can blame them…), the world of entrepreneurship is full of big misses. However, nothing upsets investors more than missing out on the biggest pitch of their life, and that’s exactly what happened here.

A young entrepreneur, appearing on an episode of the much-loved show Shark Tank, pitched his nascent idea to the panel of multi-millionaire sharks, only to be turned down and sent away with nothing other than his somewhat clunky prototype. And yet, it wasn’t long before he proved them all wrong, very wrong…

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Indeed, few stories are as compelling as that of Jamie Siminoff and his brainchild, the Ring doorbell. Siminoff spent countless hours in his garage refining his devastating simple idea after inspiration struck as a result of an all too common nuisance: missing visitors due to an inaudible doorbell. Though it took years to make his mark, the idea eventually catapulted him into the hallowed echelons of tech success stories.

Ingeniously equipped with a motion sensor that activates a video-recording camera the Ring doorbell quickly ensured Siminoff never missed a visitor again. However, it went on to acheieve much more than that… no thanks to the bigwigs on Shark Tank who totally failed to see the vision in his idea — then branded “Doorbot” — and rejected Siminoff outright. The company would eventually be sold to Amazon for a jaw-dropping US$1 billion.

Other initial challenges included scepticism over the product’s value, dubbed by some as nothing more than an overpriced gadget with little real market value. Siminoff’s resolve, bolstered by his wife Erin’s encouragement, meant that he nevertheless produced and sold over 5,000 units, setting the stage for Ring’s inimitable rise.

Siminoff with his wife, Erin. Image: The Little Facts

Despite the lukewarm reception on Shark Tank, where Siminoff sought a $700,000 investment for a 10% equity stake, the company’s fortunes quickly soared, with sales skyrocketing by nearly US$1 million shortly after the episode aired.

Determined to refine and improve upon the initial design, Siminoff engaged directly with his customer base via a partnership with Foxconn in 2014. Not only did he emerge with a redesigned product but also a rebranded one; “Ring” was born, cleverly symbolizing both a doorbell’s chime and a protective perimeter around one’s home.

Ring’s efficacy as a deterrent to burglars was demonstrated in a data-driven collaboration with the LAPD in Wilshire Park, Los Angeles, where the installation of Ring doorbells led to a remarkable 55% reduction in home burglaries. Now a part of Amazon’s sprawling empire, Ring has continued to innovate, expanding its product line to include security cameras, home automation systems, and smart lighting.

Do you think this is Shark Tank’s biggest miss? Or have you got your eye on a once-featured product that is yet to hit big? Let us know.