Ambee’s roots go back to 2013. Its first brand name was Goldee, and it was part of my first startup. Let me show you its history, presence, and what’s ahead. Read about significant milestones and lessons learned along.

Goldee 1.0

Goldee (2013–2014)

At Goldee, we invented dynamic light animations for Philips Hue besides other things. It was one of the first apps for Hue lights. It gained a lot of popularity, so much so that even Philips themselves were promoting our app. It was simple, sleek, and novel. As with every innovative product, Goldee has been the target of many copycats till today.


Hiring is a huge part of running a startup. Everything created by a startup is done by a team, therefore having a great team is one of the most important things. Hiring based on skills is what the first-time entrepreneur may think is right. However, talent doesn’t turn out to be the most critical factor. While you don’t want to have team members who are not professionals, after reaching a certain threshold, it’s not about being the best at coding, designing… It’s about how well the team plays together. …

Disclaimer: As I will be pointing to specific problems, it may sound like blaming other people or circumstances. It is not my intention. I acknowledge that all mistakes in Goldee were my responsibility. The founders are responsible for all the startup errors, whether they are direct or indirect.

Now on to my slip-ups:

A1. Single Founder

Drew Houston from Dropbox (originally a single founder, later found a co-founder)

Being a single founder in a startup is ridiculously difficult. I’m pretty sure that everyone who has been a single founder will only agree with me. Before I dig deeper, I want to highlight that it is possible to create a great company as a single founder…

Goldee was a massive lesson of leadership for me. I’ve worked with all kinds of people — younger and older, super talented and experienced, juniors with no experience and yet with substantial potential. I made many and big mistakes since this was my real first experience leading the team. Before Goldee, I didn’t know what the leadership word meant; as a matter of fact, I didn’t even know there was a word like that in a vocabulary.

The first time I realized I needed to do something about my leadership was five months after working as a team. I invited…

You’ve heard the story before. Goldee was onto something, and then suddenly, it all crashed. Was it all for nothing? Although it may be difficult to see at first, I believe things happen for a reason. Creating Goldee taught me countless lessons. It allowed me to grow in many aspects — as a person, as an innovator, as an entrepreneur. I was taken by the emerging and evolving technology in the lighting industry. It would be a shame to throw it all away in defeat. …

I am a dreamer guy from the heart of Europe, from a country not many people are familiar with — Slovakia. This story is about how I chased one of my dreams and how it got destroyed.

Goldee was a project I started realizing based on my dreams from childhood. As a 9-year-old boy, I was designing in my head and on paper some intelligent things, such as a vacuum cleaner that would clean the house instead of me, a bicycle that would make fresh popcorn, or a home that would cater to me. …

Tomas Baran

husband, father, entrepreneur (Ambee/Goldee), designer, developer, marketer, adventurer

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