“Nothing”: Is Carl Pei’s new startup hot air?


Following a rather long wait, OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has unveiled his new startup to the world. In a stroke of genius (some say insanity), this new brand is known as Nothing. Interestingly, it is also partly funded by YouTuber Casey Neistat and Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, among others. But what is Pei up to with the new company?

After Carl Pei left OnePlus, which happened to be a hugely successful first venture of his, some time at the end of 2020, the tech world was waiting with bated breath for the Swedish-raised entrepreneur’s next venture. Pei did tease on Twitter on January 26 that he would release information regarding his new startup the following day. True to his word, Nothing has become official. 

We rethought everything and came up with #Nothing. pic.twitter.com/VSz905Kgug

— Nothing (@nothingtech)
January 27, 2021

As the company revealed its new homepage, Nothing seems to take on a whole new approach. In doing so, it said it has thrown blueprints and everything familiar out of the window and went back to the drawing board. It claims to be “A reset button of all innovations,” and did not provide any further details apart from that on the website. However, Pei did reveal a wee bit more information to The Verge in an exclusive interview.

Smart devices to take a back seat

Basically, Pei revealed to the US tech magazine that Nothing will manufacture various products across different categories in the world of consumer electronics. The entire goal, he said, is to create an ecosystem of devices, something that Apple has been adept at for years, being the best example. In keeping with the “everything to zero” approach that Nothing shared on its homepage, Pei also shed additional light on how he is going to achieve this vision.

He imagines that in the future, people could simply frolic around on a lovely, sun-kissed field of green grass, perhaps spending time with loved ones with a picnic basket, and not being distracted by screens on mobile devices. A radically different technology world without notebooks, smartphones, smartwatches, and mobile displays that flood you with advertisements. Technology has apparently taken a back seat and is no longer the thing that keeps you hooked. With this, Pei could certainly fulfill the utopian dream of advocates of digital detoxing. Of course, talking about it and implementing it are totally different stories. 

Investor team of tech giants and cyber celebrities

Carl Pei’s reputation alone in the tech world, along with his still very vague vision, has already landed some big fish. Because as Nothing revealed on its homepage, investors in this venture include Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, Twitch founder Kevin Lin, Josh Buckley of US tech site Product Hunt and YouTuber Casey Neistat.

Would you invest money in…Nothing? / © Nothing

Through this effort alone, Nothing was able to secure $7 million in seed funding and is now planning to launch its first smart device in the first half of 2021. Well, let’s hope it won’t end up being much ado about “Nothing” as well …





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