Bob Christopher was CEO of Ugobe, the company that made Pleo, the robot dinosaur, one of the first successful consumer robotics products. Greg Appelhof is the CEO of TRG, a global retail company specializing in emerging technologies. Together they have written “The 2 Year Itch”, a paper advising hardware and robotics consumer technology companies on the finer points of surviving in the retail market.
In this video interview with Bob Christopher, the second in our robot startup series, he shares stories from the starting of Ugobe with Caleb Chung, and their first meetings with Greg Appelhof while they were doing stealth guerilla marketing at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show. Bob talks about developing an understanding of your retail partners balanced against a clear understanding of your product and your company’s ‘dna’ or core principles. He explains the term, 2 year itch as more than just a critical period in company lifespan when poor inventory management can sink a successful product. It also represents the uneasy position of a consumer hardware company bookended between the costs of manufacturing and the revenue of retail.
You can download a copy of The 2 Year Itch here.