Innovators

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SimpliSafe's mission is to help people live safely without introducing any complexity, hassle or annoyance into their lives.

The rundown

American: So what exactly is SimpliSafe?

Melina Engel, Vice President of MarketingSimpliSafe is a home security company, built to give you control over your home’s protection. Getting a home security system used to be painful but we’ve made it super easy. You just go online pick a system and it will arrive at your door. In less than an hour, you’ll have a full-featured professional alarm system protecting your home. Monitoring your home costs just $15 per month -- we could charge more but there’s no reason to. Protecting your family should be a “no brainer” so that’s what we’ve built.  

The team

American: Who founded SimpliSafe?

Melina: Chad Laurans is our founder, CEO and Chief Engineer. He comes from a long line of tinkerers and inventors. His grandfather actually built a new kind of radio for tanks during World War II.  Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Chad caught the entrepreneurial bug at an early age.  He studied electrical engineering at Yale and got his MBA at Harvard, both experiences provided the foundation from which to launch SimpliSafe.

Inspiration strikes

American: How did he come up with the concept for SimpliSafe?

Melina: While at Harvard, Chad saw first hand that there was an important need to make home security more accessible than the current offerings available from traditional home security companies. Three of his friends were robbed over the course of a month. When they tried to buy home security, they all had terrible experiences. First, one of them couldn’t get a system because they had no credit. One managed to qualify for a system but they would have had to get locked into a long-term. For a student (or anybody), that kind of commitment was daunting. Pushy sales guys were telling them that was the only way to go. And they couldn’t get a straight answer about how much the security would cost.

The light came on and Chad saw this as a huge opportunity to build a company to help people protect themselves and their families. So he built a business that makes being safe—simple.    

The niche

American: What is the advantage for customers to choose SimpliSafe over similar products?

Melina: We work really hard to make protecting your family super easy.  We want it to feel like getting security is a no-brainer. With SimpliSafe, you can order a professional security system online with a “plug and play” set-up, right out of the box.  While we are a modern tech company, we have old-school values: we believe a great service should earn your loyalty.  That’s why we don’t lock our customers into long-term service contracts. Lastly our systems and alarm monitoring offer real security and peace of mind at revolutionary prices. We’re proud of that.    

Accessibility

American: Where is SimpliSafe available?

Melina: Go to SimpliSafe.com and pick out a system that meets your needs.  If you have questions, you can call our support team. We’ll spend as much time as you need helping you get the perfect fit alarm system for your home, and we don’t comission our sales reps, so you’ll never encounter a “hard sell.” If you want to kick the tires first, you can check it out at Best Buy, Walmart and select Target stores.  

American: How do you market SimpliSafe to reach new customers?

Melina: SimpliSafe runs ads just about everywhere. Our commercials are on TV, on the radio, in your mailbox and on social media. We’ve also been covered in the New York Times, Fortune, CNET, Fox and NBC TV and Radio.  

Startup Success

American: What is one piece of advice would you give someone wanting to start a new business?

Melina: Surround yourself with great people who are willing to go above and beyond for a cause they believe in. Our mission is to make every home secure. All of our employees are fired up about that.  

American: What has been your biggest struggle as a small business startup?

Melina: Convincing customers that there isn’t a “catch.”  Customers will call us up and say, “I’ve been on your site, and it seems too good to be true. What’s the catch?” There isn’t one! People are so used to the high costs and contracts of the traditional model that it’s hard for them to believe there’s a better way. SimpliSafe wants everyone to know there is an easier way to protect your home, really.   


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Read about SimpliSafe in our inflight magazine, American Way

 

 

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