Clocky was created by Gauri Nanda in 2005, while she was a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For Nanda, an over-sleeper who was routinely late for morning classes, waking up would take some ingenuity. Laying in bed one morning, Nanda realized that the alarm clock was long overdue for a makeover. It didn’t have to be a black box that stares at you blankly, often failing at the one job it purports to do. Fusing her love for aesthetics and her passion for fixing things, Clocky was born. Nanda presented her initial prototype (a funny looking shag covered Clocky, which she created with materials from her local hardware store) to her MIT Media Lab course Industrial Design Intelligence.
Moment of fame
Almost overnight, Gauri’s prototype went viral when a blogger posted Clocky on a popular tech blog. Clocky and his founder travelled everywhere together becoming media darlings, gracing the cover of Inc. magazine, and skirting around the stages at the Ellen Degeneres show, The Today Show, and Good Morning America. Gauri gave thousands of interviews for publications, tv shows, and radio stations – everywhere from the New York Times and Forbes to BuzzFeed and NPR.
Gauri was still a student when Clocky was born, so she spent the next year figuring out how to put a product on the market. She bootstrapped her new venture, and launched Clocky in late 2006. The lovable clock now wakes up millions of over-sleepers around the world every day.
Watch a clip of Gauri being interviewed by Donny Deutsch on the Big Idea Show:
Gauri continues to design objects that have personality, intelligence, and a sense of humor. She re-invents the objects that we interact with every day to be both charming and useful. Gauri most recently started Toymail with her best friend, Audry, to re-imagine the mobile phone for kids. You might have seen Gauri pitch Toymail (and speak about Clocky) on her recent appearance on Shark Tank:
Now, over ten years later, the Clocky team is growing and so is his fan base. Here’s a quirky video of Clocky in action, and looking for love on the streets of Paris. It has garnered over 3M views on Youtube and Facebook:
Clocky has been in a number of books including Dan Heath’s Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, and is the subject of three Harvard Business School case studies.