Contrary to other trendy start-ups in the tech industry, Wyze did not start in a garage. It actually started at Amazon headquarters, right here in Seattle, where the three of us Wyze founders used to work.
While working with retail teams in tech, we noticed something very wrong with the smart home industry. Despite all its praise and publicity, smart home gadgets weren't even close to hitting mass adoption. That’s because smart products weren’t actually that smart, and they were completely unaffordable for the average consumer.
So we left our jobs and set off on a mission to change that. To make great technology accessible to everyone.
Day one at Wyze, trying to name the company
After months of research and development we created our first product, the Wyze Cam. The only question was how much to charge for it. Our competitors at the time were charging around $200 for a similar smart home camera.
We came up with a radical idea. What if we treated customers like friends? If our best friend was in the room, and we were selling them this camera in person, what would we charge? The Wyze Cam launched at $19.99.
What happened next was incredible. Even though we no longer had margin to spend on marketing campaigns or a fancy office space, our users had our backs. They started sharing Wyze with friends and family, they made video reviews, write-ups, and social posts. They created a smart home movement that literally changed the entire IoT industry.
Sending the order for the one millionth Wyze Cam, less than a year from day one.
Since then much has changed. We’ve added many more employees while being voted one of the best places to work in Seattle. We’ve launched many more “too good to be true products” that have won all sorts of editor’s choice and media accolades. We’ve built the best AI in the business so that our smart products are actually smart, and named one of Time magazine’s most influential companies of 2022.
It hasn’t been easy. We’ve survived tariffs, a pandemic, inflation, and much more. Entrepreneurship is always a tough journey, especially when competing directly against the biggest companies in the history of the world. We’ve only come this far by doing things in a non-traditional way and staying true to our founding principles.
“Be Friends With Users” is written on the office walls, the handbooks, and the minds of every employee at Wyze. We commit to always listen to your feedback, build the stuff you want us to build, and to price it as low as we possibly can. Every time you open a Wyze box, we will do everything possible to make you say, just as they said on the day we launched our first product, “This is too good to be true.”
Wyze CofoundersYun Zhang
Major Wyze Moments
One million units in one year.
Raising our $20M series A
Raising our $100M series B
Founding Value: Be Friends with Users
At its core, Wyze is rooted in relationships. People, yes — our customers, employees, manufacturers, shareholders — but, more importantly, the connections between us and our people, our mutual expectations and shared history. We want people to be their authentic and whole selves and be open and transparent, in all of our hopes and habits, our flair and our flaws. We want to trust and be trusted. We want to listen and be heard. We honor and embrace diversity. At Wyze, when in doubt, begin with, “What would I do if these were my friends?” Because they are.
Founding Value: "Too Good to be True"
The phrase “too good to be true” came to us out of a review for Wyze Cam v1, our very first product launched in 2017. More than five simple words from a glowing review, it became a manifesto: a perfect, unexpected distillation of everything to which we aspired. With every product and service built after that, with every opportunity to engage with our employees, candidates, and shareholders, we have a new record to break, a new benchmark to set, and a new unique experience to create. We are driven daily by the challenge and excitement of making the impossible possible, putting creativity and thoughtfulness into every detail, every step of the way.
Operating Value: Maximize Every Component
If you’re gonna be a fresh startup that treats all its customers and employees like friends and strives for too-good-to-be-true products, something’s gotta give. In those early days, that meant we didn’t always have access to premium components or the biggest factories. We had to be resourceful and creative, to maximize components with innovative software, to scrap for every angle and advantage. Even as our resources and possibilities grow, it’s essential we stay connected to the mindset that got us here. We remain focused and frugal. We continue to search for ways to drive down costs, all while building incredible value.
Operating Value: Move with Incredible Speed
As companies get bigger, they can slow down with bureaucracy and red tape. We must fight this at all costs. We enable employees. We know the difference between two-way and one-way doors. We learn from real-world experience and iterate quickly so we don’t miss opportunities to delight. If you ever feel like you are doing something that might be found in a Dilbert cartoon, stop what you are doing, fix the process, and do what's right for users in the straightest, simplest path possible.
Operating Value: Be an Entrepreneur
We started out as a group of entrepreneurs with a simple passion: to provide a smart home camera at an extreme value. The values described above are simply our attempt to isolate and describe those scrappy, decisive aspects of entrepreneurialism we find most fundamental to our past and future success. This is the last: everyone at Wyze should be an entrepreneur. Everyone should channel that same tenaciousness about the outcome and ownership of the process. Take risks. Drive to solutions. Be rewarded for finding and solving problems. Think like an outsider and an owner—like our customers—to stay innovative, hungry and invested. Our true reward comes when value is created, not just when the job is done.