Jawbone: A brief history


Jawbone’s origins date back to the late 90s when it was
founded by a pair of Stanford student under the name Aliph. The company soon secured DARPA funding to
design communication equipment for noisy field environments, so leveraging that research
to create a noise-canceling headset for phone calls. An early prototype reportedly scored the Aliph
team an audience with Steve Jobs, though the late-Apple founder’s bluntly rejected the
wired headset. The company’s innovations did manage to
capture more ardent support of designer Yves Behar, who would come on board as VP and design
many of much of the company’s products and packaging. Jawbone debut the original headset at CES
in 2007. Then branching out in 2010 with the hybrid
Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone, the Jambox releasing the first Up fitness band in 2011
– the same year it officially adopted Jawbone as its company name. In the decade since the company released the
first Jawbone headset, its quickly enamored itself among Silicon Valley startup culture. It was at the forefront of a number of growing
spaces, most notably wearables. The company’s reportedly raised around $1billion
in funding with a highwater evaluation north of $3B in 2011.That evaluation was apparently
halved by way of a much needed investment by the Kuwait Investment Authority early last
year. According to an email by its CEO that leaked
out late last year, Jawbone was once again looking for fresh funding, as Blackrock which
game the company a $300 cash infusion, was said to be aggressively pushing the company
to sell. Jawbone’s reportedly dire straights are
once again brought to light in the wake of an ongoing patent suit with archrival fitbit
that sought to block from selling its devices stateside. The charge maker ultimately dropped the suit
citing the company’s precarious finances. But the story doesn’t seem to end there. Whether it’s keeping up appearances in hopes
of securing more funding for a pivot, or genuinely building the next phase of the company already
with money it has held back from putting into its current “live” business, or something
between the two, apparently there is more to come.

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3 thoughts on “Jawbone: A brief history

  1. Speakers are great. Micro Center, a tech store is selling all Jawbone stuff for $10/$20 and I grabbed a few speakers for shits and giggles

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