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Eric Friedman

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Profile

Eric Friedman is the co-founder and CTO of Fitbit, the popular wearable health and fitness tracker. He founded company with James Park in 2007.

The idea for Fitbit was inspired by the way Nintendo combined sensors and software in the Wii gaming console. Park and Friedman noticed a gap in the fitness devices market, where products were either too-low tech, like pedometers, or high-end sports watches. Ultimately, they raised $400,000 from family and friends to kickstart their venture.

By the third quarter of 2015, 88 percent of the spending in the U.S. connected to the activity tracker market went to Fitbit, which sold 13 million devices in the first nine months of the year. The company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in June 2015. By the end of the year, they had sold 18 million fitness trackers — without even releasing a new device.

In 2016, it launched four new devices: The Blaze, Alta, Charge 2 and the Flex 2. The company continues to lead the wearables charge ahead of Apple, Xiaomi and Garmin.

Friedman was the founding engineer at Park’s first startup, software company Epesi Technologies. Then the two started Windup Labs together in 2002 and later sold it to CNET.

Friedman is a 1999 and 2000 graduate of Yale University.

Sources: Forbes, Wareable.com, Yale News

Companies and Investments

Fitbit (co-founder); Wind-Up Labs, Inc. (former co-founder)

Lessons Learned

Part of being an entrepreneur is you’re eternally optimistic.


Inspiring Quotes

Eric Friedman's Quotes

We see that people walk in circles just before bedtime to turn that 8 to a 0 — they turn it into a game. It’s something that I do, too. We have that human need for round numbers.

Eric Friedman

One of the things that made Fitbit was that we took multiple and disparate fields and made them greater than the sum of their parts.

Eric Friedman

Influential Books

Mentors

James Park, Tms Ruge

References


Technical

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