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August’s CEO on lock hacking and releasing hardware before it’s ready


August launched a new device this week at CES. “That’s five products shipped within 24 months,” explained CEO Jason Johnson during an on stage interview with TechCrunch earlier today. “I don’t know if you’re going to find too many companies that have our retail presence and a customer base that ships that many products in that time.”

It’s a lot for a hardware startup – arguable too much for one with only 80 employees. “Oh,” the exec added candidly, “it’s absolutely too fast.”

He pulled a device from his jacket pocket to better illustrate the point. “I’ll confess that we shipped this doorbell camera in 2016 and it wasn’t ready. We didn’t have DVR. Our customers took to Twitter and Amazon reviews [where the product is hovering around 2.5 stars], asking how we could release a camera without a DVR. That’s what happens when you go too fast.”