Dec 22, 2015 249

Jibo: The World's First Social Robot for the Home

As an investor in the hardware space, I look at a lot of products and ideas. Many are interesting, but only a few trigger my imagination and get me excited just thinking about the possibilities. 

Jibo was one of the few such products that I came across recently. Although the product is not out in the market yet (as of Dec. 2015), the vision, the team, and the prototype design alone were good enough for me to be convinced that this was going to be a great product.

It has a very distinct shape, simple, streamlined yet it carries a personality. There are a tremendous amount of thoughts and considerations going into the product design not just the shape of it but also in the body movement and the animations of its eyeball when interacting with people.

Hardware is hard for a reason. Unlike software, you really cannot iterate the hardware part once it's out in the market. You really don't have the luxury to beta test in the market, collect customer feedback and modify the product in a timely fashion. That's why the first thing that I look for in a hardware company is being a design-driven company. Design cannot be an afterthought. Design has to drive the product development including hardware and software.