Cam Robertson

Founder, Lockitron


Photography by Eli Zaturanski

CEO / Entrepreneur / Hardware Hacker

Cameron Robertson is the co-founder and CEO of Lockitron – makers of the original home smart lock system. Lockitron gives you keyless entry for your home, as well as remote unlocking abilities. Interestingly, Lockitron’s office (pictured below) was formerly the Byte Shop, the store that sold the first Apple Computers from Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

1991 Jeep Wrangler

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I’ve always wanted a Jeep. One day this guy popped up on Craigslist, just a short distance away from our office and the price was right. I showed up with cash and walked away with the title a half an hour later.

Jeep Wranglers encapsulate pure driving fun in it’s rawest form. The best way to describe driving it is like a giant toy car. This one came with a lift kit and half a soft top, so you feel like you’re riding above the rest of the traffic while at the same time you’re exposed to the elements year round. It’s a decidedly California car.

The odometer was lying on the floor when I bought it, so I have no idea how miles it has on it but I expect it’s somewhere around 200,000. Sure, there’s no gauges and I’ve had to put a fair amount of work into it, but working on something with a set of wrenches can be cathartic after staring at a screen all day.

Buy Now$10000+

Apple II

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My elementary school in Colorado had a lab full of Apple II’s that we used for all of our computer classes. While we had a Macintosh at home, I played Oregon Trail and Number Munchers for the first time on an Apple II.

When we moved to California I decided to get my co-founder Paul and Apple II for his birthday. That in turn lead us to meeting up with the original collector who had bought a cache of Apple II’s when they were new. We now have around five or six Apple IIs, nearly all of which are still in working condition.

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We keep a couple on display in our office which was once home to the Byte Shop – the original location where Steve Jobs cut a deal with Paul Terrell to sell 50 Apple I’s in retail. Without the Byte Shop it’s quite possible that Woz would have kept the Apple I as his own personal hobby.

When considering the history of Apple most people will think of the Macintosh, however, it was the Apple II in conjunction with great software like Visicalc that sold thousands of units and led to their IPO in the early 1980s. So many small hardware companies want to build their “Macintosh” from the outset, however, the Macintosh was only possible because of the immense success of the plucky Apple II.

Buy Now$50+

Shelvador Fridge

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As a kid I grew up in a eclectic household full of antiques that were a part of my daily life, one of which included an early 1950s Crosley Shelvador. Shelvadors are the inspiration for designer refrigerators like the expensive Smegs you can buy today. When we moved into our first office we found this one for free in Pacifica and snatched it up. It needed a little work, but it’s still running on the original compressor.

The name Shelvador comes from the innovation that Crosley held a patent on – that he literally built shelves into the door of the fridge. Crosley’s broader story as an entrepreneur is fascinating – he was an early 20th century industrialist who manufactured everything from cars to radios and appliances.

Shop Now$699+

Betula Sandals

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I hate socks and love sandals. Luckily in a place as laid back and temperate as California I can wear these nearly year round. While I previously wore Birkenstocks, I discovered that Betulas are literally the same sandal but a third the price.

Buy Now$29.95

All that is solid melts into air

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I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of modernity and how it shapes the world we live in as opposed to our ancestors just a few hundred years ago. We live in such an incredibly unique time within human history to be able to travel around the world in two days and launch spacecraft to the outer edges of our solar system.

Berman examines the earliest seeds of modernity in the Western world through a few historical thinkers and the the times they lived in when masses of people were leaving feudal, agrarian societies to enter the nascent industrial world. I disagree with many of Bermans interpretations, but I think there are incredibly powerful takeaways when we think about society and where we’re going today.

Just as people in the 18th and 19th centuries made the shift from farms to factories, we’re now facing the potential of mass underemployment from the greater application of AI to our daily lives.

Buy Now$12.43

Fire in the Valley

I first read Fire in the Valley when I was 11 or 12. I was a computer nerd and started building websites around the same time. This book captivated me with it’s stories on the Homebrew computer club and the origins of companies like Microsoft. Oracle and Apple. Little did I know that just over a decade later I’d find myself out here building a hardware company.

Buy Now$0.50

JASON Powersmile Toothpaste

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Powersmile is fantastically minty. There are so many toothpastes with a strong sugary flavor that never seemed quite right to me, which is why I think it’s worth splurging a bit on it.

Buy Now$7.99

IBM Model M Mechanical Keyboard

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I grabbed a handful of model M’s from my elementary school when they were cleaning out an old storeroom in the late 90s. They were originally built to mimic the sensation of typing on an IBM typewriter for the PC and have a strong “clicky” feel to them.

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Thanks to a PS2-to-USB adapter I continue to use this 1991 vintage model M with my MacBook. Although I’ve had one of these keyboards fail due to a spilled drink I have a couple more stashed away just in case.

Shop Now$50+

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