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Starfish smartwatch saga illustrates entrepreneurial stumbling blocks

Lex Friedman | Feb. 6, 2013
One of the booths I was eager to see at this year's Macworld/iWorld was that of a company I'd never heard of and a product I'd never seen. I first learned of Starfish from the company's advertisement in the current issue of Macworld magazine; that ad touts: "The next biggest thing is the next smallest thing: The world's first ever interactive iPhone and iPad mirroring device on your wrist."

It's possible that Buzi can indeed take an OEM watch and enhance it with all the features Starfish has promised. My guess, however, is that he--and any potential Kickstarter backers--will find themselves disappointed by what the company finds it's actually able to do. As Buzi stressed to me repeatedly, he lacks the technical expertise one might expect for the person behind a company like his.

Still, the nonexistent watch did score some positive press: The Examiner expressed surprise that the Starfish wasn't given a "best of show" award.

The lesson here, for entrepreneurs, customers, and potential Kickstarter backers alike, is to exercise caution. Building products is hard. Building products with amazing feature sets is harder still. And, as the old saw says, if something looks too good to be true, it probably is.


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