"Greg Nemeth is Co-Founder and President of Perfect
Third, Inc. He manages WakeMate’s finances,
communications, and marketing strategy. Greg
studied business at Boston College until he left
to pursue WakeMate full-time."
Its a shame WakeMate didn't end up succeeding, it was one of my favorite YC startup ideas.
* Wakemate: By Perfect Third Inc. (http://wakemate.com/about/)
* MiLife+: By Three Thirds Inc. (http://www.indiegogo.com/GregNemeth)
Somehow this all reminds me of the JooJoo tablet (http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/12/crunchpad-tablet-jooj...).
Picking the right Co-founders is so important! I would not start a company with a person unless we have a proven track record and have built trust over several years and having worked together on a number of projects.
You can't hire founders.
Edit: as per swombat's comment below changed "was" to "is"
But I wonder if that makes you a former alumnus. Being an alumnus doesn't require a degree, does it?
Steve Case was VP of Marketing when AOL was founded as Quantum Computer Services. As his role grew, early employees left, and time passed, he became the co-founder.
Greg seems to be trying to charge not only a $150 fee to access the API (see price tiers), but also an unknown % cut of all app revenue: http://www.indiegogo.com/MiLifePlus
It's one thing for Apple to do this when they have a huge install base, but is this really a smart move for a product with an install base of zero? What would possibly motivate me to shell out $250+ plus my hourly rate plus a revenue cut for an unproven hardware device with a customer base that is (generously) 1500 people?
Disclaimer: I've had many bad experiences with WakeMate.
Also, why does he seem to be whispering in the video? It's freakin me out.
Update: Even more interesting, it seems that Greg had been tweeting from @wakemate even after leaving...shady shady shady
Many of you received an email this morning concerning
a new product called MiLife+.
Today is the first time I have heard of this product
and I am shocked at the way it was promoted to
WakeMate customers. We are not affliated with this
product in any way. It was completely unauthorized
and I am scrambling to get to the bottom of it. I
sincerely apologize that you received those
I poured my heart and soul into this company and
though we stumbled along the way I believe that we
provided something of value to our customers.
However, as many of you have guessed, we have
exhausted our capital and will no longer be making
any more WakeMates.
Currently our plan is to keep the service going while
we work on open sourcing the technology. Hopefully
this will ensure that you can continue to enjoy the
product and its benefits even after the company no
As always if you have any concerns please email me
and I will do my best to resolve them:
all the best,
co-founder of WakeMate
Sad that this latest shadiness from a (former?) WakeMate person doesn't surprise me in the least.
2) How close is pg to this whole mess? I'm guessing this is no longer in his sphere of influence, but it would seem that given that Wakemate is a YC company he should probably clarify YC's position on this debacle. I realise this is more a question to pg than to you, but I guess you might have an opinion.
3) Do you think the problem that ultimately killed the company was a mismatch between the founders, or did that evolve as a result of the multitude of problems that the company encountered? I'm getting a hunch that all these mistakes by the company could have been the result of lacking a clear direction/leadership.
2.) I never talked to PG, I can't speak to that.
3.) The problems were absolutely cumulative over the course of development. Neither Greg nor Arun were engineers or technical in any way and the hardware developer had a full time job that was not WakeMate. I started ~1.5 months before launch and was told the hardware was functional. I managed to get the iOS version to work most of the time but the firmware was hosed in such a way that pretty much all units would fail over the course of a few months.
I initially had some good experiences with the android version which then got more and more unreliable until I stopped using it altogether. I was led to believe that this was due to bugs in the android app. Are you now saying that it is actually a firmware bug on the devices?
And if yes, is there any hope to have this fixed once everything is open sourced?
As to fixing the firmware - that's absolutely possible although we made some non optimal decisions with the hardware itself that caused the WakeMate to waste a lot of power. That's one of the reasons why the WakeMate's battery is comically large for the amount of usage you get out of the device.
Alright... I can see why Gupta wants to open source it. Smart and the right thing to do.
Stealing their email list, hijacking their Twitter account, and actually admitting to using "the WakeMate sensor technology" in your new product is a great way to get to get the crap sued out of you.
I bought the product immediately after seeing the power adapter fiasco, and still use my WakeMate to this day. At times it does feel like you have to be an engineer to know what you're doing and keep the thing running (I can attest to timing issues leaving the bluetooth transmitter blaring full power at night and the battery dead in the morning), but as with any "bleeding edge" product you have to respect it if you want it to respect you.
Seeing the company at the end of its funds even though they have an awesome product, cries of marketing mistakes. Seeing WakeMate's marketing manager take off with the mailing list, confirms to me that Greg was a poor fit, and not the best person to watch over WakeMate's interests.
Arun if you're reading this, I sincerely hope you'll send an email along the lines of "the previous announcement was sent by one of our previous employees, WakeMate does not endorse that product". My mailbox still thinks WakeMate and Greg are "taking it to the next step", and seeing what I see here, it does not leave a good taste in my mouth. Best of luck to you.
The fact that he is continuing to work on this product says a lot. Any team would be lucky to have a guy like him on it.
I hope this mess gets straightened out.
I've always been a fan of the WakeMate. Best of luck moving forward.
Considering the problems with Jawbone's Up (which I also bought), I think we can all agree that making hardware is... err.. hard. There is definitely something of value here, and I hope someone gets it right.
Ask me anything
If yes, what will this include and when can we expect to see some code?
Many of you received an email this morning concerning a new
product called MiLife+. I want to make it clear that
WakeMate is not affiliated with this product in any way.
Today was the first time I have heard of this product and I
am shocked at the way it was promoted to WakeMate
customers. Our mailing list was used without our knowledge
by a former WakeMate employee, Greg. Fortunately no other
user information was compromised and I am deleting the
For those of you who have donated to the Indiegogo project
I have contacted Greg and Indiegogo and it is being taken
down. You will all receive your money back.
I poured my heart and soul into this company and though we
stumbled along the way I believe that we provided something
of value to our customers. However, as many of you have
guessed, we have exhausted our capital and will no longer
be making any more WakeMates.
Currently our plan is to keep the service going while we
work on open sourcing the technology. Hopefully this will
ensure that you can continue to enjoy the product and its
benefits even after the company no longer exists.
I am very sorry for the unsolicited emails. This email list
will not be used again.
all the best,
co-founder of WakeMate
While waiting for my WakeMate to arrive, I tracked nearly every moment of my sleep with the SleepBot Tracker app. Every night that I didn't get the magical target of 8 hours, I not only felt worse for lack of sleep, I felt like I had failed something. My sleep debt grew, and I spent so much time calculating the logistics of how I could get everything done and "catch up" on sleep that I think I got less sleep overall and of the same low quality (e.g. 4+12 != 8+8).
Then the WakeMate arrived, and all it did was add more numbers, and a new headache to deal with in the morning.
This would appear to solve that problem by making specific recommendations, but then what about when I inevitably do not fall asleep at the optimum time? I know it would be useless to stress about that kind of thing, since I know I'm currently getting very sub-optimal sleep, and any improvement would be just that, but I think I know how my mind would behave anyways.
Does that make sense?
--There was WakeMate, a YC company
--They were having issues (with hardware, customers...)
--Greg (one of the founders) left
--He started a new company that is trying to make a similar product by crowdfunding the capital needed
--He emailed all of the WakeMate users
--Nobody told Arun (another founder)
--Arun discontinued WakeMate and apologized to the WakeMate users for the unauthorized email
I think you're caught up.
[ld] [~] nslookup blog.wakemate.com
Best of luck with whatever you do next. Software is way easier :)
I always hoped they would succeed. They both seemed sharp and, more importantly, highly driven. Sad to see it deadpool. Even more sad to see shady tactics by a founder.
They're website was an awful Godaddy generated site (http://www.milifeplus.com/) and the video had a creepy audio narration http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCZQvguYTqg
Plus the wristband looked like a 5 minute CAD job with not effort.
I was given support up to a point, and then nothing. First there was app problems, then I got stuck with two devices with not enough battery power to last a night.
People shouldn't release weak beta products.
I'm glad they're going under.
I'm replacing my simply warn-out SleepTracker.
People keep iterating that hardware is not as easy as software, but WakeMate actually solved some of the biggest problems, including being allowed to sell the devices in the EU (for which you need to meet some requirements many small hardware companies do not want to deal with).
I would love to read about what actually went wrong. I guess there are some great lessons to be learned here.
Getting EU certification was actually pretty easy. I'll be sure to include information on that.
I know I have trouble with mine dying before the night is over. Is it possible to get the firmware version that doesn't blast at full strength all night?
I would love to get it back up and running ^.^
Great idea. Trying to solve a difficult problem and break new ground. But obviously the execution problems were evident from the first few months of missed deliverables and poor communication.
Good luck to Arun and the team on the next great idea. Kinda scummy that a co-founder went and started a company in the same space, stealing the twitter and email list in the process. How is this in any way going to get consumers to trust him?
Where's the news?