🎧🍌 The iPhone For Your Dog | Ken Ehrman (Co-founder, Halo Collar)
Working for the first investor in Apple, building hardware, listening to customers, IPOing with $3 million in revenue, and meeting Charli D'Amelio
Ken Ehrman is the co-founder and Managing Partner of Halo Collar, a smart dog collar that tracks your dog with GPS. Halo Collar uses patented technology that allows customers to instantly create up to 20 unique virtual dog fences from their phone using GPS.
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In this episode, we discuss:
Working for Mike Markkula, the first investor in Apple
Building hardware and the importance of patents
Listening to customers, solving their problems, and sizing a market
Qualifying enterprise customers and selling with "calm confidence"
Early investors trying to buy 95% of his first company
Getting the US Post Office and Army to fund $15 million in R&D
Taking a company public in 1999 with $3 million in revenue
Using AI to train dog movements and make "the Apple Watch" for dogs
The crazy story of how he met his celebrity co-founder, Cesar Millan the Dog Whisperer
What happened when they met famous TikToker Charli D'Amelio
Thank you to Zac and Xavier at Supermix for the help with production and distribution!
Find transcripts of all prior episodes here.
Turner: Ken, thanks for joining us today. First question, I thought it'd be really interesting for people, before we dive into the product, to go over how you got into this whole Internet of Things industry and talk through the journey of how you got to where you are today.
 “The Internet of Things (IoT) describes the network of physical objects – “things” – that are embedded with sensors, software, and other technologies for the purpose of connecting and exchanging data with other devices and systems over the internet.” (More here)
Ken: Well, first of all, I appreciate you having me on, let's start with that. I'm an older entrepreneur – I'm over 53 – but I started this company about five years ago. But that did give me some advantages, which is that I had learned from my previous experience of starting companies and how to do this one a little bit better.
I was an engineer. I went to Stanford and, as a result of being in Silicon Valley, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. That was the path that I was on.
My first job out of college was at a company called Echelon, which was founded by Mike Markkula, one of the founders of Apple, as well as a gentleman named Ken Oshman, a legendary Silicon Valley entrepreneur. And they wanted to be the chip that would go into everything but computers.
Steve Jobs accepting a check from Mike Markkula, representing the very first outside investment in Apple: a $250,000 investment for 30% of the company.
This was back in 1985 – they were like, “Intel can do all the computers. We want to be the neuron chip inside of lights and air conditioning systems and auto – it could be anything.” It was pretty amazing what they were trying to do back then. They were really focused on having this great chip that made the device smart.
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