Co-founders Greg Duffy and Aamir Virani initially developed Dropcam thanks to a neighborhood menace. Greg’s father desperately wanted to figure out which of the local dogs was “fertilizing” his yard. He began hooking up IP cameras, but couldn’t get the system to work just right. He also found that storing video on his hard drive was not an easy, scalable or secure solution.
Greg, interested in solving his dad’s dilemma, called up Aamir to talk through the problem. The two began pitching the idea around Silicon Valley with limited success; no one wanted to invest in a video camera company.
Greg and Aamir finally caught a break when they connected with tech pioneer Mitch Kapor, who saw the promise of a flexible cloud-based video service. Mitch’s investment funded the initial development, resulting in the launch of Dropcam in 2009.
Initially, Greg and Aamir wrote most of the code themselves and even packed and shipped every Dropcam. As the product began to get attention, they attracted a team of experts in video streaming, distributed cloud storage, and mobile and web apps to join them. Experts in hardware design, manufacturing and operations soon followed.
Today, Dropcam is widely used by people across the country to watch babies, keep an eye on pets and catch unsuspecting thieves. As for Greg’s dad? He not only caught the neighbor’s dog; he has the footage to prove it.
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