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The NextMarket Report — Quirky

Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman Steps Down

Mike Wolf Quirky

Last Friday Quirky posted a quick blog post saying that Ben Kaufman, the company's CEO and founder, was being replaced by Ed Kremer, the company's CFO. Needless to say, when a company's CEO (and chief visionary) is replaced by the CFO, it's all about the money. Of course, Kaufman has been pretty open about the company's financial struggles over the past month, so none of this is a shock. What this means for the company long-term is unclear. I'm sure the hope internally was that there would be a financial white knight, but at this point it looks like one might not...

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Podcast: Who's Gonna Buy Wink?

Mike Wolf Apple HomeKit Nest Podcast Quirky Wink

In this episode, Mike wonders who in the heck will buy financially troubled Wink, pauses to appreciate HomeKit's strict security requirements and rambles about Target and Sears's smart home concept stores. This week's episode was brought to you by Soundwall. Find out more about Soundwall at As always, find more Smart Home Shows at You can read Mike's weekly smart home musings at Follow Mike on Twitter for real time conversation about the smart home at Subscribe to the Smart Home Weekly newsletter to get it in your inbox.  Check out the Smart Kitchen Summit, NextMarket's...

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Smart Home Weekly: Apple/Nest, Who'll Buy Wink, Target/Sears Redefining Smart Home Retail

Mike Wolf Apple Ecobee HomeKit Nest Quirky Wink

While I had hoped things would be quiet in the smart home space while on vacation, I wasn't so fortunate. But hey, if you can't take a little time off in July, when can you? I'm back and this week I take a look at Apple's removal of Nest from its stores, speculate on who will buy Wink, pause to appreciate HomeKit's long game focus on security as well as take a look at Target and Sears efforts to redefine smart home retail. And because there were too many stories to write about fully from the past few weeks, I'll link...

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Handicapping Who Will Buy Wink

Mike Wolf Amazon Apple Google Home Depot Quirky Wink

I was on vacation for much of the past few weeks, so I missed this interesting piece by Stacey on Kaufman and Wink.  In some ways, that Kaufman is saying that Wink and Quirky are in trouble is not that surprising. We've heard this before. But this piece goes further, detailing the size of the business, the company's cash problems (they "ran out of money weeks ago"), how they've hired bankers to sell Wink and much more. It's a surprisingly transparent admission of trouble, one that I'm not actually sure will help the company's case. I mean sure, we know you're...

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The Coming Smart Home Shakeout

Mike Wolf HomeKit Insteon Iris Nest Quirky Vera Weave WeMo Wink

  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think we're in for a little turbulence in the smart home market. Not because the market isn't growing. It is. It's just not growing in a way that can make every investor, startup and big tech company happy.  This isn't completely unexpected. Markets - especially new consumer technology markets as they are searching for defining use-cases, form factors and hero products - take time to figure themselves out. The smart home industry is trying to figure itself out. In the meantime, some investing in the space are disappointed in their early...

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