After closing the books on our most successful year to date, we celebrated our sixth anniversary in style. Good food, good drinks, and a cake with the face of Tater Tot, our official office dog, in black icing. Mmm…black icing. We celebrated at Cooper’s Hall in Portland, Oregon, which is a space big enough for 30 or so. Pretty incredible when I think back on how we started.

This is not your everyday startup that began in someone’s living room. DADO was founded in the dining room. Two totally different worlds.

Back in 2009, I was in between jobs, and the economy was sinking. What else do you do when you are out of work and not wanting to go back to the corporate grind? Grab two of the most reliable people you know (Mandy Schuler and Philip Jones), and do your own thing. I hopped a plane to CES to meet with business partners, where we ate, drank, discussed China, walked the halls, and then came home motivated to kick things off.

By 2010, we were off and running! More like a sprint, actually. We signed paperwork in the Iowa tundra, figured out how to pay the bills, built a strong, growing client list, found health insurance, started retirement accounts…and now fast forward six years.


I find myself standing in the back of the room in Cooper’s Hall, getting a bit misty, thinking about how this crowd here has contributed so much to our success. These are the people who have worked so hard to make DADO happen. This year alone, we have launched three products with Char-Broil® and Behmor® with many more to come. The DADO Platform is taking off, and 2016 looks to be another amazing year. Thank you to the team at DADO Labs for making 2015 our biggest year to date.

When I’m meeting new people, the top two questions I get are:

1) How do you pronounce the name of the company? Day-Dough Labs. Rhymes with “play dough” and “hey, yo”.

taterWKD2) Why is there a dog’s head on everything? That’s Tater Tot, our office dog. He’s a little full of himself, so he demands that we see his face all over the place. It’s kind of annoying.

But one thing I always say is, “Let’s make IoT about improving your brand. About making connections. Let’s make it about improving our quality of life.”

I’m looking forward to next year’s celebration as we approach our first decade in business.

Tom Worley is the President and CEO of DADO Labs.