Large number of audience might be considering that Siri was another wow innovation from Apple. Well story is bit different. Siri was created by Siri Inc. cofounded by engineers of Stanford Research Institute Adam Cheyer, Dag Kittlaus, and Tom Gruber. Siri Inc. was later acquired by Apple for more than $200 million in April of 2010 under the leadership of then Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Introduction about Siri Cofounders:
Adam Cheyer started working with computers in early 90s even before World Wide Web was introduced (www was introduced in 1995). He believed in future people will interact with the machines through combination of speech and graphic interfaces. And his believe helped in building one such final prototype after 50 versions over two decades, which could deliver the result he often thought about. Thus, Siri was born.
Dag Kittlaus, Norwegian co-founder is the man behind naming the product Siri. In Norwegian, Siri means “beautiful woman who guides you to victory.”
Tom Gruber, AI expert was brought into the team to carry pre-work related internal due diligence. In an interview Adam Cheyer said he came in for the first meeting sceptically but while he was leaving he asked them whether they needed another co-founder.
Siri is classic example how motivated team of Cheyer, Kittlaus and Gruber together with focused goal delivered Siri. After spending couple of years in building the first commercial version of Siri it was launched as an application in Apple Store. Siri team within two weeks received the call from Steve Jobs, who was interested in getting Siri technology by acquiring Siri Inc. Offer was eventually declined by the Siri team, Cheyer says, “With no hesitation, we said we were flattered but that we weren’t looking to sell at that time,”. “We had just raised a new round of funding and had gone through a successful launch. An acquisition was just not something we were actively seeking.”
But when Steve Jobs approached again after few months and this time Siri Inc. was sold at valuation of more than $200 million and Siri team joined Apple Inc. Tri stayed for one and half years till they again came together and founded another firm named Viv Labs, which was an artificial intelligence assistant company. Viv Labs got acquired by Samsung in 2016 at valuation of $216 million.
Successful entrepreneurial journey of Adam Cheyer, Dag Kittlaus, and Tom Gruber was based on the innovation which they though much ahead of time, teamwork which helped them to develop the solution and motivation which kept them working.