NEEO joins the Control4 Family
I have the biggest news to share since inception. I wanted you to be among the very first to hear that NEEO just joined the Control4 family, the NASDAQ listed market leader in professionally installed smart home experiences.
My goal with this post is to generally inform you what that means for all of us and for the current product.
Let me share some insights with you
With the announcement of NEEO PRO we intended to enter the market of professionally installed systems and we got amazing responses to our product like never before.
We knew success in the professionally installed field would be crucial for us. What began as NEEO working intensely with the teams at Control4 in order to make the experience with the Control4 platform an exceptional one soon became more. The deeper we dug in together the clearer it became that we should be a unified team to achieve the awesome level of integration we feel is right for the dealers and end-customers.
That’s basically how it all began. When the acquisition talks started, we felt it would be a perfect match. We have received many other acquisition offers before but those ones were always money-focused so we were not interested. This time it was different. We were two companies that both have a deep passion to create the best smart home experiences for the customers - and ultimately we fell in love.
Preparing for this deal and today’s announcement required a quiet-period. You may have realized we were a bit more quiet than usual - that’s why. I’m so happy I can finally share this news with you. It’s such a huge chance for a startup like NEEO!
Is this the end?
Being a very active supporter of many startups, and dozens of Kickstarter campaigns myself, I’m always afraid of receiving a goodbye email from companies. Many ran out of funding and I have a pile of products at home that I cannot use anymore. This sucks but it reflects the general success/failure rate of startups and the risk-taking involved. We want this to be different for you
Things will change, even though NEEO and Control4 both want to make sure your NEEO stays active and usable for a period of at least 24 months from this announcement. That being said, I also want to make sure we communicate transparently so the expectations are set right. As of today, no more NEEO products will be shipped. All existing NEEO customers will continue to receive support though and all services will be up for another 24 months. We understand the importance of the IR database continuing to evolve, we have short term solutions in place and we are looking into options to make this possible in the future as well.
How about new firmware versions?
To celebrate today's announcement, we have just made release 0.53.8 available to everyone. This release brings a load of new features to your NEEO, including a new dark UI, unlimited Multi-Brain support, more customization, and some awesome Easter-eggs. Check out the detailed release notes here.
We are planning to maintain the infrastructure required to deploy critical updates for the next 24 months and you may continue to use the SDK so that everyone can continue to build great applications for the platform. That said, other than any critical updates this firmware is the last one that comes from the NEEO team. Control4 sells its products exclusively to certified dealers and not to end-customers, so it’s 100% clear there won’t be any direct-to-consumer products.
Why did we not stay independent?
We started NEEO with the idea of creating an amazing and easy to use universal interface for the smart home. Many large companies had tried this before and ultimately failed in one way or the other, but we had the drive and flexibility to make it happen. Overall the challenge of getting all protocols and devices supported is the biggest trick. We may have pushed the boundaries further than any other product out there but ultimately realized that the best smart home experience needs to be a curated one.
In my mind, Control4 is the clear winner in this category and by combining the great Control4 product line-up and the amazing dealer network with NEEO’s experience in the interaction devices category we feel will lead to the best experience possible. We will have the honor to continue the journey as part of this public company and work with awesome smart home gurus such as Charlie Kindel (Image) who joined Control4 from Amazon, where he previously led the Alexa efforts for the smart home.
As I anticipate my new role in the Control4 family, it is with a big smile but also a heavy heart I’m writing my last blog post here. I want to thank everyone who was part of the NEEO journey, especially all of you who were our biggest supporters and so crazy active here on the planet. Speaking about that - Planet NEEO will stay. You made it such a powerful knowledge base and fun place to hang out. You will notice that we change it a little bit to boost the features that matter and sunset those which are no longer needed. The team will remain available for you here.
I believe many of you understand this change, but I’m also convinced there is a bit of sadness involved for many of us. We totally understand that you don’t want your NEEO to stop working. Some of you may be interested in doing more – providing support or development work for current NEEO customers. We are open to discussions if you have an interest. We can’t promise anything, yet we are open for all discussions. You have ideas in that regard? You want to be part of that future? Let us know your thoughts over here!
The (last) One
I mentioned above that there won’t be any more NEEO’s available from today on. There is one small exception. One lucky winner will get the very last unit, signed by the team and with a certificate of authenticity. All you need to do in order to win is posting a comment anywhere on Planet NEEO during the next 48h.
You beautiful people and inhabitants of Planet NEEO are simply the best. I’m thankful and honored having been part of this journey with you.
Steve Kozma said:
I wonder why it took so long to develop it...
They where all rookies, nobody of them where a real pro in this field. Everything they made started at field 0. For such a small team, it’s simply a too big challenge. Raph just promised too much. And, NEEOs unfortunate communication always added fuel to the fire.Reply
Raphael , so you took all of our money, delivered a product 3 years late to a sub-standard quality, and still is, and now like some conman scam artist you're going to leave us with a product that never met its promises, and take your money and run. I'm sorry but it's people like you that are all that is wrong in this world. Greedy capitlist bloodsuckers leaching of the people who make you the money in the first place.
I can't wish you well. You don't deserve it.Reply
Anybody read the press release on the Control4 website?
”Control4 will support existing NEEO customers via www.neeo.com and plans to provide an upgrade path to make it easy for users to experience Control4’s broad array of smart home solutions.”
Raphael Patrick this was never mentioned as part of your announcements... care to elaborate?Reply
In the meantime, Raphael has already updated his LinkedIn-profile indicating the end of his tenure at NEEO and at the same time becoming "Senior Director" at Control4, sharing "cool images" like this: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6500752818087952385/
Things turned out great for him. Cool new job and money in the bank.Reply
Raphael Seems to me you are not serious. Me and a lot of others feel us cheated, special when i read this article in the newspaper of your hometown.Reply
Wow, I was just wondering why you weren’t on Amazon anymore... you had a good thing going, you would have done better than to partner with C4. You sold yourself short. I’m glad I hadn’t made the move yet. Very sad news and another great example of greed out weighing passion. I’ll keep an eye out for you on future projects, and make sure to steer clear.Reply
I don't even have 24 months. After the latest software update my remote is not able to connect to the brain anymore! I'm able to control things from the iPhone app, but lets face it, I'm not going to constantly pull out my phone, do the face id just to up the volume on my TV. This thing just doesn't stop disappointing.
What a failure, this company. They are SO lucky that someone actually paid money to buy them. This thing was on a sure path to death.
Company that can not produce a product that works can not sell that product, that means no revenue... no new investors or credit line... no payroll... DEATH.Reply
I am fully aware as an experienced Kickstarter buyer that sometimes the promised product never get start off or is of poor quality. However in the Neeo case I can not get rid of the feeling that the supporters has been used for generating enough money to be attractiv for a take over. The product has never reached his full potential and the promises has never been fully implemented. Communication was and is extremely poor but now clearly understandable as the Kickstarter Supporter never played a role in their business plan. A very disappointed customer of NeeoReply