SmartThings, Samsung, and the Open Platform
Today is a big day for SmartThings. I’m excited to announce that SmartThings has been acquired by Samsung and will operate as an independent company within Samsung’s Open Innovation Center group.
It has always been our goal to create a totally open smart home platform that brings together third-party developers, device makers, and consumers. We’re thrilled that Samsung fully supports this vision.
We will continue to run SmartThings the way we always have: by embracing our community of customers, developers, and device makers and championing the creation of the leading open platform for the smart home. Our growing team will remain fully intact and will relocate to a new headquarters in Palo Alto, CA. In short: SmartThings will remain SmartThings.
We believe that there is an enormous opportunity to leverage Samsung’s global scale to help us realize our long-term vision. While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications; expand our base of developers and enhance the tools and programs that they rely on; and help many more people around the world easily control and monitor their homes using SmartThings.
We’re tremendously excited about the possibilities ahead, and owe a heartfelt thank you to the people who have helped us get here: our amazing customers and supporters. To all of our earliest Kickstarter backers who believed in our vision; to our incredible investors and advisors, to our partners who have helped us spread the word, to our community of developers whose contributions continue to propel the open platform, to our all of our customers whose feedback, encouragement, and stories have driven us; and to our wonderful and growing team whose tireless work has helped propel us to where we are today: We cannot thank you enough.
Let us all hope that Samsung stays in the background and not messes the goal of SmartThings.
Rest assured, we are 100% committed to our same vision, brand, and approach. It will only get better!
This kind of explains why things have been so quiet recently.
Yes. So pumped to finally be able to talk opening on all levels again.
It feels like progress has been kind of stagnant the last several months. Do you guys plan to ramp things back up pretty quick? I’d love to see better Hue support…and Nest has been completely ignored outside of third party hacks.
I think my biggest concern with this buyout is Samsung’s love for locking things down to their ecosystem, as an example their Gear line of horrible watches only working with Galaxy phones. It be really annoying if their influence caused you to ignore Hue, Dropcam, Nest and other devices in favor of their own alternatives.
@Cory_S:disqus Still a 3rd party hack, but I do have a pretty great integration with the Nest if you are interested. Includes the ability to do ranges and more. I have also written an app to automatically set the nest to Away when you leave, and back to Home when you arrive. You can either tweet me @danvanwinkle or email me (dan(at)danvw.com) if you are interested.
Will do. I ask more for friends & family that would like to integrate it but yet don’t know how to mess with the IDE, and whom I don’t want to have to support by setting it up for them.
As soon as I figure out how to publish my Nest Device, I will be able to publish the apps as well!
I haven’t been following things that much recently. Have they made much progress on user submitted devices and applications?
Yes, it is just a little bit confusing, and it is Apple-esc in the sense that they have to approve everything (I think, again, confusing)
Probably Nest & Hue are up there on my list. But, I’d also like to see some sprinkler controller integration, and a PIN code zwave lock management solution.
+1 for sprinker control. I was sad that the $39 Lowes Iris watering controller doesn’t work w/ ST (last I checked). It’s ZWave, so should in theory be workable.
I’m one of the early supporters on Kickstarter and it’s an investment I never ever regretted. Would be very disappointed when despite best intentions SmartThings moves towards a “Samsung Only” product.
Have no fears. SmartThings = Open.
Congrats on the amazing journey so far. Glad to see more platforms for IoT devices that are getting traction. Looking forward to see the next innovations :).
That’s good news for you and your team, but as one of the original KickStarter backers from Australia we are still waiting to see any thing almost 2 years after it was due.
Thanks so much for your patience. We will get there and the scale with this will help us to do it. We’ll add some extra appreciation once it happens.
Thanks Alex, and good luck with this next step.
Hoping so – very, very keen to see my Smart Things arrive down here in Australia as well. Hoping the buy out speeds things up a bit…
Clearly never been through an acquisition before hey? If you think that this acquisition will help you in the short term, you are misguided. I highly doubt that this will enable you to, in any way, speed up the delivery process to the backers that supported you years ago and that you still have not delivered.
Acquisitions, no matter how small, create ripples and a lot of extra work.
I thought SmartThings was dodgy before with the funding they secured without fulfilling rewards and you have now confirmed this.
You have our money, you haven’t delivered, you got additional funding and now an acquisition for more money.. Still no fulfillment.Well played SmartThings. Well played….
Stick with us, Yorik. I speak on behalf of our entire team when I say that your support and patience is not ignored, and never has been. Quite the opposite. I know these statements start sounding like platitudes, but that’s from the bottom of my heart.
Keep in mind, you’ll be among the first in Australia to ever have SmartThings in your hands. That’s an amazing thing. Others have gone through the maturation process but you’ll be getting the most polished, user-friendly experience to date (with full support for Australia).
Hang on tight.
This sucks. Makes me regret buying SmartThings and wish I would’ve bought another device. Just waiting for Samsung to stop allowing improvements for Apple devices, then taking my SmartThings to the local Goodwill. So much for getting HomeKit support.
Dan, from me to you, we are 100% open and there will be no slowdown in support for iOS, our plans for HomeKit, and so much more. Can’t wait to show you what is coming. Stay with us and let me know what you think just a few months from now.
Alex, I am for sure going to stay with Smartthings until I see something change for the worse, which I hope that it doesn’t. While I congratulate you and your team for the success, I don’t know how much I can trust that it will stay 100% open. I have seen both sides, so I know that there is a chance that you stay in control, but, the reality is, and with all due respect, you are now an employee. I am willing to bet that there are plenty of Samsung folks sitting on your board now, and they could easy force you/SmartThings to do something, whether you want to or not.
Again though, I do remain hopeful. Thanks for taking the time to respond to those of us who are not thrilled with this news. Many CEOs wouldn’t do the same!
I, and we, won’t let you down.
Yes one thing I really enjoy about Smarthings since day one is their investment in their community. Thanks Alex for showing how much we are worth to you and your company… you wouldn’t be here without us.
Given my experiences with Samsung devices this would have kept me from purchasing a kit if I had known about this two weeks ago. Very disappointed.
Same here, I’m a bit disappointed with the choice of Samsung. I think you guys did a great job and deserve to be bought out by a big company, it’s a sign of success for you so congrats on that.
I hope that you’ll realize that you need a proper DEV community and that you’re new “community” website doesn’t cut it.
We’ll be making a lot of investment in the open development tools including the community and much more. What are the top improvements you’d like to see?
The documentation have broken links (http://docs.smartthings.com/en/latest/device-type-developers-guide/anatomy-of-a-device-type.html Click on reference document, this isn’t the only one).
I’ve been stuck for months on integrating the color wheel, I put a question on your community website (the old and the new) and never got an answer. I just have no idea how I can get some feedback from your team. I think you’re focusing more on SmartApps and not enough on SmartDevice.
We’ve updated the docs link and are pushing it live now. Sorry for any frustration. Also, if you shoot a quick note to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org, they’ll get you sorted with your question re: the color wheel ASAP.
Great I will do that as soon as possible.
I am very excited about smart things and the arduino sheild in particular! I have been scouring the internet for such a solution but I am not a coder by any means just an electrician and would like a wired system none of these plug in jobs, I am saddened to learn this system wont work in australia, when will an aussie model be released? Cant wait to get my hands on it!
We will run independently and the things you found compelling when you purchased your kit should only get better. Let me know what you think in a few months.
It’s only to be expected that many kickstarter backers and other early adopters react like they have in the comments on this blog. They feel “ownership” by being part of and having formed the ST community which is important for the long-term sustainability of the product.
However for the SmartThings platform to succeed in the market it needs to be adopted by the masses, who care about ease of purchase, installation and use and could give a r’s a to open or closed as long as it works with their home consumer electronics and appliances.
This means a partnership with a company that is a champion of manufacturing, marketing and shipping – Samsung – is one of the best ways to help SmartThings jump from the small niche segment of customers it is serving now to the masses. It needs to get this mass customer adoption to avoid
losing the hyper-competitive battle in platforms that is only just starting.
So, congrats Alex, ST team, Samsung AND early backers!
I was not a kickstarter backer and I feel no ownership over the direction of the company. I am, however, disappointed in the purchasers of the company. I have had direct experience as a user of samsung products and know to expect new restrictions, and lock-in if they decide that the product is worth something or being ignored and unsupported if they decide it’s not.
Perhaps the arm of Samsung that bought SmartThings is not the same as their mobile group – I can only hope so.
Though the software that runs on their televisions doesn’t give me much hope either.
Their refrigerators are generally pretty good…maybe they’re the ones running the show?
Again, SmartThings can do what they want with their company – but I’m one of “the masses” and had spent a great deal of time and effort trying to figure out which smart home hub to purchase. it came down to two (I won’t mention the other here as it’s not necessarily relevant) and I chose SmartThings for various reasons. The typical practices of Samsung suggest that those reasons will (within a year or so) become invalid. I made a mistake. I’m disappointed. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I’ve given Samsung the benefit of the doubt several times in the past and been burned every single time. I promised myself I’d never buy another Samsung mobile product again about…oh…three years back. Every time I’ve been uncertain if I made the right choice something happens to remind me that I did.
For the record, I was actually somewhat hoping google would buy them.
I am writing to you to express my disappointment.
I backed you project on Kickstarter on the 23rd August 2012.
I have been patient, waiting for my smartthings to arrive.
I understand there may not have been as much interest from Australia, so it gets harder to produce.
But if you are going to offer a product and a deadline, you should at least be close to that date.
In 8 days time, I have waited 2 YEARS! and you still can’t give me a clear delivery date.
But you are able to send me an email informing me that you have sold out to Samsung.
If you put a little more effort into producing your product and not selling your company we might all have our Kickstarter packages delivered.
I know you have offered free shipping to International backers. But that is not a good enough repayment for people left waiting that long.
The interest you would have earned sitting on our pledge money for 2 years works out to more than that.
Not to mention all the extra money people payed for “things” that you can’t produce for their country. (power adapters)
I would love to hear a firm delivery plan from you asap. And I am sure a lot of other people would too.
I’m just disappointed, frustrated and upset that it has been 2 years.
Congrats on the big news. Will Apple products still be compatible 100%?
Yes they will. Where are you located, Dan?
Lots of Australians on this thread. Your support means a lot to us and I know we’ve got to get down there asap. Thanks for your incredible patience.
Hi Dan – We have all the Australian devices in hand and are putting through final QA to ship. It took us longer than we wanted, but rest assured we will ship. It’s core to our DNA.
Congratulations Alex to you and your team. You guys earned every penny!
Thanks Mark. There is so much more to come in this journey.
This I truly believe
I fell in love with SmartThings and now control 34 devices in my home. Now, I am very concerned I backed the wrong horse. These things never go well; soon Samsung’s footprint and middling will slow the need for Smart Things to remain innovative and head of the pack. Very sad, indeed, but congrats to the team for the success themselves!
Test me on that in six months and see how you feel. :)
Absolutely. Congratulations on this. The product is sweet.
Congratulations, I guess. I hope you will keep things rolling independently, supporting all sensible platforms regardless of corporate politics. Oh, and by the way, please get things sorted for Australia, your Kickstarters (me included) are still waiting out here …
Thanks much for your patience. Rolling out globally when you go beyond wifi and BLE is tough given the changes in radios country to country. Australia is high on our list and we will get there before too much longer.
Thanks for the quick response. Having rolled out services across the globe myself, I appreciate the difficulties in doing so. Keeping the (seemingly vocal) group of Australian supporters in the loop on what you are doing should be less difficult. So, please keep us posted so that we get to enjoy our Smart Things as much as everyone else who has them.
Absolutely. We’ve got to come up with some unique and crazy Aussie apps to go with the rollout working together with developers there. We’ll do our best!
Not sure how I feel about this. I love my SmartThings products but I’m not crazy about Samsung. I will continue to support SmartThings and all of their products however if they start charging (monthly or otherwise) for service unfortunately I will need to abandon the product. Sorry :(
We always intend to maintain and enhance the free service, even as premium services and apps emerge from the marketplace. No changes there now or in the plans!
Unfortunately @Samsung has a horrible history with companies they buy. This might mean total shutdown within 18 months of trends hold. Sad.
Definitely a possibility, though I think Yahoo and Google have made more acquisitions and shutdown’s than Samsung. The business of mergers, acquisition, and long term strategy is difficult to predict. Samsung is a leader in many technologies, and it is not too difficult to see how SmartThings could be a great match even in the long term.
So does this mean that the horrible connectivity issues with Sonos and Ecobee will be addressed properly??
Have you emailed email@example.com about your issues? We’re here to help.
I have. The tech was very nice but basically said that these are known issues and you guys are working on them. It sucks that you promote easy connectivity yet then tell you customers ST Labs are just beta programs that are “rough around the edges”. I now have ~$1k worth of Sonos and Ecobee stuff that is pretty much unusable with your hub :(
I will look into your support thread.
I am looking at this on the bright side and I hope Samsung doesn’t have any dark influences on ST.
I’m also looking forward to you guys being in the Bay Area! You’ll just be a short trip from Santa Cruz and Id love to see your operation.
Just curious what percentage of ST Samsung controls now?
I too would love to see the operation. We are here in Sacramento
We’ll have a big party when we open the doors on the new HQ on University Ave. in Palo Alto. Beer shall be consumed. Components shall be soldered. SmartApps shall be written.
Well… that gives me a good reasons to have an extra positive attitude. Time for me to stop complaining and see if I can convince ST’s that I bring a ton of problem-solving-value alongside my “devil’s advocate approach”. Hiring?
We are hiring in a big, big way.
Great! I’ll be in touch! Love to know how I can help out.
This is bullshit. Samsung is about as open as my asshole. Were you that desperate that you had to make your bed with Samsung, that cheesy copier of technology? Real sorry to hear that. I will look elsewhere for my home automation needs.
We’ll hope to win you with the best product, the best experience and the best support.
While I share some of the fears and concerns raised by others, on the positive side this acquisition should give Smartthings more muscle and staying power. They are in an incredibly dynamic and competitive market. An acquisition was inevitable.
Right on. We are going the full distance, which makes me so happy because we would be nothing with out our community of customers, developers, and partners. We have a chance to make the entire world smarter, together.
Willy I sure hope you are right. I waited years to pick a home automation system and I finally felt comfortable with ST. I would hate to lose them
being an open platform that works with multiple home automation devices, the
worst that could happen from our point of view the users, is being acquired by
a giant appliance maker, which will soon
focus this wonderful platform to their own products.
We will remain completely open. I know I said that above, and the best demonstration will be to show it in our execution. Buckle up and stay tuned.
Congratulations, although I do share the same trepidation as some of the other commenters. I’m also an Early Bird backer from Kickstarter. I’ve backed a lot of projects and have enjoyed most of the products developed, but SmartThings is hands down the best purchase I’ve made from that site. I use it every single day and have enjoyed being able to add on more capabilities as time went on. Samsung is a huge company, and getting acquired by such a large name would be the goal of any startup, but I have had nothing but awful experiences from Samsung. I’ll remain hopeful that ST does indeed remain a separate entity, but this is definitely a concern of mine, especially since I’ve grown to love and depend on it so much.
We won’t let you down. You’ll be blown away by what is coming.
Alex as young aspiring entrepreneur myself and as a client of Smart Things(The kind of clients that almost went door to door selling it! haha). I wanted to just say thank you for sticking with your vision and that we are proud of you. Congrats on the acquisition, well deserved.
Thanks, Alex. I’ll remain optimistic.
Great news. Samsung’s scale and product expertise blended with the innovations underway from the SmartThings team should make a great partnership.
Please bring us more reliable location support and foscam integration now PLEASE!!!!!! My alarm system is like the boy that cried wolf, the only reason I bought a Foscam so I know if I should actually call the cops or not. It’s even worse when the alarm goes off when I get home.
Deeper native access to the phone and BT beacon support should help us nail ambient location sensing soon. Cameras we are winding up to do it right but there is Foscam support via the dev community now. Ping firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you sort it out in advance of full rollout.
Got them! Just had my first cup delicious, thanks! Does it normally brew coffee not too hot? I know when using the service disk it was extremely hot.
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
Sry wrong email lol.
Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android
Love that you didn’t sell out to Google.
Love that your employees worked hard for the cash out.
Love your products, support, and community.
Hate that you pissed that away for the easy money.
Hate being a customer knowing what a disaster this will be down the road.
Hate that I can no longer recommend your products.
Hate that you’ll eventually be forced to focus on Android and let iOS whither away.
No forcing. Full steam ahead on iOS and much more. If you don’t believe our words, watch and believe based on our actions in the coming months and years.
I’m sure you believe that and want it to continue. Given the war raging between Samsung and Apple it’s highly unlikely the iOS app will continue on in any significant way. At least with Samsung they’re letting you keep the iOS app going for a while. If Apple had bought you, the Android app would’ve been EOL immediately.
Again, I’m happy for you and your employees, but as a customer this is terrible. You’ve certainly read the posts here and realize how much everyone dislikes Samsung (only Google buying you could’ve made it worse).
The people posting here were your most valuable assets, and now they’re very upset – with the potential to be your worst enemy. For myself, I can tell you I will not recommend anyone buy your products now that the iOS EOL clock is ticking.
We’re completely independant. They will have to pry my iPhone from my car of dead hand.
As a Kickstarter backer and an iOS partisan, not gonna pretend that I’m not bummed by the particular acquisition, but I’m also pleased that y’all are going to have access to more resources and (for the moment, at least) full autonomy. Definitely interested to see what comes next.
Thanks I think you’ll be psyched!
The main thing I’m concerned about is privacy. Rumors are flying that since Nest was acquired by Google that users will have ads displayed on their thermostat and their names/info sold to third parties. Please don’t let that happen here!
We will always do what is in the best interest of customers, so you’re in good hands.
You will, but will Samsung? I have a feeling that it’s only a matter of time until the Apple v. Samsung war makes it’s way down the line, Smartthings gets completely absorbed by Samsung, and all iOS support is ended, rendering my hub, motions, and door contacts useless.
That will not happen. We’ll show you with our actions.
This sucks. Very, very dissappointed. Definitely backed the wrong horse. I’m a back from Kickstarter. Can show you tons of press releases (“we’ll stay the same”) after acquisitions and what came out of it… Of all companies: Samsung – unethical and all… I’m definitely out of here…
I unplugged my hub already…
Just to back my allegation of being unethical (no, it’s not the lavish copying of apple): http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/253993.html
I’m so pissed that you guys sold out at this point in time…
What do you know about e.g. HomeKit by Apple that makes you sell to Samsung now?!?
Open for Samsung means: Samsung, Samsung, Samsung…
How long until the Android version is better than the iOS version? How long until iOS will not be supported anymore?
This reallys sucks…
I can appreciate your concerns, as we considered very deeply whether this move would do anything to slow or inhibit our execution of our vision to be the easiest and most open smart home platform in the world. I can assure you, it won’t. Our agnostic stance towards devices and connectivity platforms will continue and we will produce the best iOS experience that is possible with Apple’s APIs.
Only time and our execution will demonstrate the reality of this. I think everyone will see our sincerity and the reality of our openness over the coming months.
Look, Alex: i understand you wanted to sell and make money. There is nothing wrong with that. you and your team or whoever gets it, completely deserve it (it’s too bad that kickstarters who believed in you first and bought into an idea don’t benefit but that’s ok and a totally different matter…). you worked hard and smartthings is a great product.
a) I’m the VP of M&A for a large global IT corporation and I just know from first hand experience how these things go down. and believe me we are the good guys but at some point we integrate what we bought. only makes sense. why would I buy something then?
b) show me one acquisition which stayed fully independent and did not get swooped away by the large corporation it got swallowed by. as someone in this thread already said (and I also know how this works – see a)): the honeymoon right after the closing is great. everything sounds, looks, tastes awesome. it’s just that honeymoons end. (btw, skype is not a good example as their product already had a huge installed base – that’s what I was hoping that you get such a large installed base that once someone bought you, there is an excellent reason not to “kill” the product and its openness. I’m just afraid your installed base isn’t there yet…)
c) it is so early in the whole IoT and home automation game that I was hoping that the one company that seemed to be the most open would hold out longer to wait and see how things pan out and then make a move. maybe I’m naive and don’t know enough about your industry but do you really believe that others (google, apple, microsoft, amazon,…) will now want to work with you? you are now samsung – independent or not and you won’t be able to get this off your back anymore. and do you truly believe Samsung will accept that you will build the most open system incorporating everything the others are proposing? I highly doubt it.
d) as soon as Samsung needs a good reason to differentiate itself from the crowd – and my hunch is that’s going to happen sooner than later given their latest smartphone numbers – they’ll use anything that helps. home automation is the next big thing and everyone is hopping on the bandwagon. from google (nest), apple (home kit – not sure what this will bring), Microsoft (backing insteon), and now samsung with smartthings… Samsung hasn’t bought you just to be the provider of an open platform. they want to sell more of their stuff… why would they agree to let smartthings incorporate hue, piper/ic control, fibaro, aontec,… and not throw in more pure samsung products here? if nothing else then the support for others will decrease or deteriorate over time… (and honestly, the six months you mentioned is no time frame to look at… i bought a home automation system for the long run, not for the next 6 months and then to change it or upgrade it again)
I’m sure I have too little background info here but I’m just hugely disappointed at this move.
my hub stays disconnected – as much as I hate that – until I see that things do not turn sour… (I just don’t trust samsung – see my other comments) – this might mean it will stay disconnected for a very long time or forever.. :-(
I just think you sold out way too early. and much of the commenters here seem to think the same way…
anyway, good luck. let’s hope i am wrong and I have a good reason to connect my hub soon even though it belongs to Samsung now…
this really sucks… damn!
Your frustrations pang me, since I’ve been with SmartThings since the Kickstarter days. I get your feelings and they cut deeply, because I’ve gone through this ride along with you. This is our passion, this is our creation, this is our baby. I’ve seen it grow and mature as you have, but with an internal scope. Every decision we’ve made as individuals and as a team has been to foster Alex’s vision as well as benefit our passionate community that has stood by us from the beginning. You are a part of that, and in our eyes you always will be.
As Andrew and Alex have said over and over, we’ll simply have to win you with our actions. If there’s absolutely anything I can personally do for you, hit me up at email@example.com. If not, we’ll still be here.
Thanks, Garrett and of course, thanks, Alex, for taking the time to respond. Truly appreciated and certainly not something everyone would do – especially given the negative backlash that seems to be the majority here.
In any case, at this point there isn’t much (if anything) that you can say, that will make me believe that things will be better with Samsung in the picture. I dislike them too much, to be honest (might be childish and wrong but it’s just not the kind of company I respect). In addition, my experience of these types of acquisitions tells me otherwise as well.
Anyway, again, good luck. I will be in the bleachers watching how this all pans out. Let’s see…
Still think, this sucks…
Congrats. Does this make it more likely for all of us in Europe that was not backers to get our hands on your awesome product?
I know the backers got their hubs, but what about the rest of us?
Is there a timeframe? Roadmap, anything to hold on to?
Good bye SmartThings. Now I am so happy that you didn’t sell these to me in Europe.
smarthings was the product i wanted to buy to my home. Not anymore, i hate samsung, they’re evil and they’re products are terrible. Don’t want any connection with that company. Very sad day for home automation.
Hopefully we can win your business through our actions.
Hey Alex, in your interview with CNN Money you said SmartThings will start charging 5-10$ monthly fee to use their services. Why don’t you elaborate on what you actually meant to say?
I meant that we will maintain and enhance our free services indefinitely. Our focus has been and continues to be to create the easiest and most open platform for the smart home. Part of being easy and open means making it accessible to everyone, without having to pay monthly fees. It is our full intention to keep in place and enhance what is free today and make it free tomorrow and into the future.
What I was saying on CNN is that in the future we plan to also launch a premium marketplace. Developers and service providers have been working with the SmartThings platform to create some AMAZING new apps and services. Just as devices aren’t free (because they have a cost for a device maker to manufacture, ship, and support), there will be paid services that will be fully optional for customers, but which if people want they can buy at the push of a button. These will add incremental value that I think many customers will be super excited about.
Alex, did you know the SmartThings presence sensor is virtually useless as it has a 2 that’s TWO minute pulse interval? Useless because my family can drive up and be in the house for a full minute before the outside spot lights and inside lights even come on. Worthless! Maybe you should just concentrate on your products first.
Have you emailed support? The pulse interval can be changed and is not normally anything near that long.
2 minutes was confirmed by support, they also said the interval is fixed. Your turn to call them.
The presence sensors check in every 20 seconds. The 2 minutes is to only confirm it has left. So please do email support and we can help diagnose.
2 minutes was confirmed by support on different occasions. ???
There’s no reason to question Mr. Hawkinson’s sincerity, but history tells us things will not go as he expects. During the acquisition courtship the acquirer often talks about how they value the entrepreneurial spirit and independence of the acquiree, and offers assurances that they would never interfere with that. The M&A team may well believe that story themselves, but they don’t actually run the show once the acquisition is done. Even top management at the acquirer may believe the story, but they don’t actually run things on a day-to-day basis. Most decisions in big firms are made by mid-level bureacrats with a narrow worldview.
The CEO begins his new corporate life in a euphoric state. He’s rich, and a corporate giant loves him. A year later we read that the CEO is leaving, either to start a new venture or to sail his yacht around the world. The acquired company has become just a brand identity, and its people pursue the strategic goals of their global parent.
There’s nothing unethical about this; it’s just business. I doubt very much that those who are expressing their anger and frustration would turn down those hundreds of millions if they were in Hawkinson’s shoes.
Ditto to what he said. I do M&A for a living in a Fortune 50 company and just about every acquisition I’ve ever worked on can’t run from the influences (some good, many bad) of it’s aquirer. I wish ST the best of luck and I hope the bonuses for Exec Mgmt at ST are massive and worth sticking around for…
This is so spot on it’s ridiculous. Thanks for sharing. The marvels of capitalism.
I am not a huge fan of Samsung, but I am happy that you guys might get more developers / funding. I love my SmartThings but it still feels very “beta”. I look forward to more app updates to finally polish the UI and get things working perfectly.
We’re quite excited to apply the scale and support of Samsung as we refine, improve and innovate around our platform, user experiences and hardware.
Congrats (and I am a fan of Samsung, as long as the platform remains open).
It will, and we’ll speak with actions, not just words.
Since news of the acquisition several weeks ago, I’ve noticed a dramatic decrease in support, releases and reliability.
Given that most of your userbase (at least the ones in this comments section) are actually hostile to your merger, means you’ve lost something considerably more valuable than the $200 mil in this deal. You will have to spend all of that money to re-acquire new users as the existing base jumps to Revolv, NinjaBlocks and others.
You guys are great individuals. Alex, Ben — you guys are great. I think you will find that balancing between the company you were 2 years ago on Kickstarter, the company you want to be, and the company Samsung wants you to be will be the largest challenge you’ve ever undertaken.
Best of luck
Give us a bit of time, Kristopher. We have been a bit stagnated as so much of our energies were focused in this acquisition. I think you will be pleased by our pace in the coming months!
I can’t wait to see what the team creates with the resources of Samsung behind them. Also love that you committed to the platform remaining fully open. Onward and upward. :)
Spoken from the genius that is Matt Mullenweg :)
Initial reaction: yeah for SmartThings, boo for us. I will not abandon iOS and I don’t see how Samsung will support iOS. I have 15 SmartThings in my house, but was smart enough to make sure anything I bought after the Kickstarter campaign was Z-Wave. I can switch to another controller without losing too much money. But I like how SmartThings works (although there are many missed opportunities).
Despite Alex’s numerous assurances, I’m holding off on getting a second kit for my camp until I feel more secure about continued iOS support. Since Samsung can flip the switch any time they want, that timeframe will likely be indefinite.
Again, I’m very impressed that SmartThings, which started only a few years ago primarily with a Kickstarter campaign, was valued at $200m. But it will be extremely difficult to assure iOS users they will not be left in the dark (pun intended) by the new company.
We will definitely have to speak with actions here, not just words, in resource development, releases, features and improvements. And we will.
I’d be happy for SmartThings if I had experience with their hardware. I backed SmartThings nearly two years ago and still haven’t received my hardware. Now the acquisition by Samsung means I most likely will have to wait longer.
They sent my hardware to me in Germany without documentation so it was sent back to SmartThings. Now tech support said they will wait 180 days to send out a new one.
Hi – That is certainly not our policy. If you send me the communications with our support team to firstname.lastname@example.org I will address. We have done everything in our power to ensure a smooth customs process.
Congratulations to SmartThings.
Unlike many others I chose SmartThings a couple of weeks ago because of the credible rumor that Samsung was about to buy.
My homes have been heavily automated for over 25 years. Initially with X10 and non-integrated cameras. In the last few years with Zwave and Vera controllers. So, I know a thing or two about the need for simpler, more reliable and cross-protocol hubs. From the sudden explosion of alternatives I had already chosen SmartThings as to one I thought the most likely to stay in the top two and (very importantly for me) provide support for my extensive (read “expensive”) collection of Zwave legacy gear. But it was the Samsung takeover which made me jump in with confidence.
Alex is right. ST will not only benefit from Samsung – they needed a big partner in the current explosive home automation market.
As for those who think Samsung products are inferior – I beg to differ. I have relied on Samsung phones for years. I have a Samsung washer and dryer (because Consumer Reports regularly puts them in the top two of both function and reliability). in the last year I have purchased over 30 Samsung TVs for my business without problems. And I have experienced the future of wearable technology and had lots of fun with my Galaxy Gear watch for almost a year now.
As for those who worry about “open”. I find it strange that, reading between the lines, many of them would have been overjoyed if Apple had purchased SmartThings. How can you take someone seriously who claims to value “open” and then buys the least open platform on the planet – and pays a huge premium for the privilege of being closed in?
ST will remain open. Why? Because in home automation the cross platform genie is out of the bottle and can never be put back. Any player** who tries to go proprietary in the home automation mass market will be a fool and will go down quickly. Even if you don’t like Samsung – please don’t insult your own intelligence by thinking they are fools.
**In any market there is a niche for one player to be proprietary and “exclusive”. These brands underline their exclusivity by charging much higher prices than the mass producers. For example, B&O in television and audio. There is always 5% to 15% of technology buyers who want to prove that they are rich by buying the up-market brand. We all know which player will enter home automation with “exclusive” products with 40% profit margins and, therefore, very high prices. We know that 10% of buyers will pay the price because it is part of their identity – rather than just a tool. We know the tech-press will fawn over their products and, incredibly, give them a free pass for not only being proprietary – but suing anyone who tries to incorporate their products into open home-automation networks. But a rational person can just come to my home and see ST helping to run open home automation at half the cost and twice the flexibility.
Again, congratulations Alex. I have every hope that I will be enjoying a new era of home automation with your products playing a central role for several years to come.
I don’t see why such an uproar over Samsung . Apple and IOS is no different from Samsung honestly they are becoming more and more like our Android Samsung! Can’t wait I’m purchasing one now for my home!
I see a lot of complaints and fear, specially from iOS users. Nobody know what are their intentions, but it would be pretty stupid of Samsung to close this to only Android or Samsung. Now, on the other hand, Apple has closed many things to all non-apple users. For example, Airplay and proprietary connectors for iOS devices. This is an opportunity for Samsung to enter right away in a very lucrative and expanding market. And yes, probably some great features will be available only for Samsung TVs and Samsung appliances. But I doubt if they will close it only to Android or Samsung.
We are dedicated to keeping the platform open, yes. Thank you.
Well done.I am one of the first backers .Have my 2 EU kits now for months and am delighted.
Yeah, same here. Already on the lookout for a new platform. This one is sure to die.
On the contrary. Now we have the capital to compete with the biggest players and remain viable. Future has never been brighter.
Unfortunately, based on Samsung’s history, that is the ideal that simply won’t be realised.
Alex and Andrew….regarding the pulse interval on the presence tags. It was support that told me it pulses on a 2 minute interval and they also told me that interval is fixed. Can you elaborate? Seems there is some confusion.
This does concern me, as I am a Windows Phone user who had been assured that WP was not going to be left out of ST. Right now we have the ST app on a prior Nexus 7 tablet, but it would be very handy to be able to control things from my phone.
Windows clients are coming soon!
Alex and SmartThings team – Congratulation. The acquisition speaks success and well earned reward.
As a consumer I respect all the eco-systems be it Apple, Google, Amazon or Samsung. So I definitely expected an uproar amongst fanboys of each eco-system. While I’m invested in each of them, Im bit more involved in apple ecosystem. So at this point my only hope is you remain as Open as possible so the entire community can enjoy SmartThings as they anticipated. Of course this is with hopeful assumption that neither Samsung, or for that matter Apple interrupts this.
Hopefully we will see some integrations with HomeKit and continued support from SmartThings at that end.
My best wishes to the entire ST team
strange enough my post on “how money talks louder” a day ago was gone!?? i hope the censorship did not already started ;) as for Samsung, apple or anyone is irrelevant if the end product is a quality product their honesty and business integrity is ok than anything goes… or the ones bashing samsung do really believe apple with their might universe also do not press the market or engage in business competition sometimes dubious to say the least!??! in my opinion what most matters is the true policy of SmartThings and their CEO or founders! and how the deal was craft …. one things i did not like was being one of the first supporter of smarthings on kickstarter received my kit only 2 weeks ago… and of course to my astonishment many had in there hands already for many months and smarthings already made available to the public to buy long time ago…yeah no ones like this and if this is the way smarthing do business then…. it makes me think if i ever want to fund another product….
No censorship here. :) we appreciate the thoughtful comments and reiterate that out platform will remain open to all.
What I wish would happen is…the app for the Android and the app for the iOS were equal. I have android phone (Samsung Galaxy S5!) and I would like it if the app would sense automatically when I have left the house rather than me having to go in and set it as AWAY. Then also my room mate also has an android phone, but only one of us can have an account and control stuff. That really limits what we can do to use the system.
I have to say tho… It was cool to get a text from the moisture sensor saying we had a water leak under the bathroom sink and being able to tell the maintenence people about it immediately was really impressive!
I was so excited to discover all the things I could do with SmartThings. I watched the videos, I drew up plans on which products I need for our home; I was excited, until I found this blog and learned that Samsung purchased SmartThings.
I will not be able to buy the products I was so excited about because as a consumer I have fired Samsung as a company I will do business with. I am not here to bash Samsung, I am only sharing the numbness I felt when reading about the purchase.
I wish you well SmartThings, you do have interesting products to get excited about. I now have to start over and search for similar open platform products I can support.
I hope this means we will finally see SmartThings outside of the US. Been eagerly waiting to get my hands on this in Europe.
This is great news, and I’m very happy about this.
No longer is SmartThings a small home automation company among a lot of other competitors, but it now has the backing of a massive global company.
Gone are my fears that, if I choose SmartThings, the company will disappear.
This has made up my mind, and I’ll be buying soon.
1. Is ” smart thing ” availiable in India now? can samsung India
import it for us in India.
2. is z – wave products compatible with Indian frequency ( 865.2
Mhz)? Reference : wikipedia : (( Frequency band: The Z-Wave Radio
uses the 868.42 MHz SRD Band (Europe); the 900 MHz ISM band: 908.42 MHz (United States); 916 MHz
(Israel); 919.82 MHz (Hong Kong); 921.42 MHz (Australian/New
Zealand),India 865.2 MHz ))
3. is the device availible in the 230 v range?
I have a major concern… I just purchase the new SmartThings Hub and connected about 15 Z-Wave and other devices to the network. Now I was using NEXIA for about 2 years prior and felt that the SmartThings Hub offered me more product compatibility and so on… So I went ahead and switched, but now I am beginning to seriously reconsider the switch over. All my devices synced up with the network seamlessly and easily there was absolutely no problem there… My issue is with the device configuration and control… I am used to using Nexia’s online portal or android app to control my devices. and with each device i had “settings”. For example the Schlage FE599NX CAM 619 ACC 619 Home Keypad Lever i used to be able to set permanent or temporary user codes through the app or portal. Disable the code keypad entirely so even the saved codes would temporarily be disabled preventing any outside access when it’s locked by enabling a feature called “Vacation Mode”. I no longer have access to any of these settings…. in fact clicking the “configure” button in the app does absolutely nothing… Whats the deal? Same goes for my FIBARO Multi Sensors; configure no longer lets me set sensitivity, light color or any of the many settings that i used to be able to customize…
I cannot get my hub to connect to Fortex siren – need help
Need help connecting FortrzZ siren to hub – for the life of me I’ve tried to duplicate the instruction but it will not find up the siren
Thanks a lot, this really is a truly awsome article! Unfortunately, I found this article too late – I already found the answer on another service. I mostly use http://goo.gl/2Z3wid to merge my PDFs. I think it also allows you to fill the merged documents.
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This is nice for becoming independent company Smart thing. It is very nice to growing rapidly as their better services. MP Govt Job
how do you tell the difference between V.1 and V.2 on the Hub?