E229: Hosain Rahman of Jawbone on This Week in Startups



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Today on This Week in Startups, Jason was joined by Jawbone CEO and co-founder Hosain Rahman to talk about just how damn hard it is to be a product guy. Hosain has some experience in the space, having run Jawbone for over a decade and having seen his share of ups–Jambox, Era, Icon–and downs–UP. Listen in for some incredible insight into the product cycle, manufacturing overseas and the future of wetware.

0:00-2:00 Welcome everyone. Today I’m here with Hosain Rahman, CEO and co-founder of Jawbone.
2:00-3:30 If you’re a fan of TWiST, join the 200 other biggest supporters and join the TWiST List at http://backchannel.co
3:30-6:00 Huge thanks to our sponsor friends at MailChimp for their support of the show. Everyone give them some love by tweeting a thank you to @MailChimp.
6:00-8:00 Hosain, when did you start the company and why?
8:00-10:15 Why are core technology and licensing businesses hard?
10:15-12:15 Hosain explains what happened to his industry in 2001/2002.
12:15-13:00 Did the product you made for the military work?
13:00-14:30 How much did you spend on patents in the early days?
14:30-15:00 Give me the names of startups who have failed who had money in the bank? It doesn’t usually happen.
15:00-15:30 Hosain explains how the first Jawbone headset product was born.
15:30-18:00 Who was the first person to get packaging right?
18:00-19:00 Hosain sites Voss water as an example of pwerful design.
19:00-20:00 When did you release the first headset?
20:00-22:45 How important are people like Walt Mossberg and Steve Jobs when you’re a hardware product company?
22:45-23:15 Hosain explains why the launch of the iPhone was great for his Jawbone headsets.
23:15-24:15 Does it take the decade plus you’ve been at this to see real success with a product?
24:15-26:00 Thank you to our friends at Sourcebits, pioneer in design-led engineering. Everyone thank them @sourcebits.
26:00-28:00 Let’s talk about UP, a device that you wrap around your wrist. What’s the core function?
28:00-29:00 How long does the battery last on UP?
29:00-30:30 Jason explains his findings after using various sleep tracking and fitness devices.
30:30-31:15 Hosain discusses Arianna Huffington’s better sleep advocacy.
31:15-33:30 Do you feel that the work you’re doing with UP is more important than what you did with your other devices, because of the health factor?
33:30-34:30 Why doesn’t every healthcare provider give out these devices to their patients?
34:30-35:30 What if heathcare was free if your BMI was within a healthy range?
35:30-37:00 Hosain describes an interaction he had with someone at a conference that changed his way of thinking about how to reach people without accessing to advanced technology.
37:00-38:00 What’s next for the company? Are you limited by manufacturing devices? Have you thought about making a phone or laptop?
38:00-41:00 Tell me about a product that you canned–or one that never came into fruition?
41:00-41:45 Hosain why he wishes there were more investors willing to put their money into long-term R&D.
41:45-43:00 What do you think of all of the patent trolling that’s going on now?
43:00-44:30 How would you change the patent game?
44:30-46:45 What about wetware, the line between biology and technology?
46:45-48:00 You haven’t released any clothing products have you? When is that coming?
48:00-49:45 Is there going to be some big jump in battery power any time soon? How often does battery life double?
49:45-51:00 Are your products popular in China? Can you compete there?
51:00-53:45 Did you read the NYT article about the state of manufacturing in China? What do you think?
53:45-55:00 You can basically go online and learn anything for free. Why don’t more people do that?
55:00-55:30 Did Steve Jobs ever recruit you to work at Apple?
55:30-58:00 What goes through you mind when you get an amazing offer to sell and you decide not to?
58:00-59:15 How many misses can you get away with as a hardware company?
59:15-1:00:00 This has been an amazing interview, thank you for joining us Hosain.
1:00:00-1:00:30 Jason professes his love for the Jambox.
1:00:30-1:01:00 Huge round of applause for the amazing engineer Stephen Beacham of CNET. We’ll see you next time, everyone.

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Jason: @jason
Hosain: @hossrahman
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Sourcebits: @sourcebits

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