It seems most things sailing in the wake of twitter simply defy all logic and common sense. There have been literally dozens of picture sharing services before twitpic. The only difference I can see is the name ("look, we're for twitter!") and that he basically integrated an url-shortener.
The entire site looks like about a week's worth of work. 700k in annual profit? Not sure if I want to laugh or cry.
Laugh. Be happy. Learn from this that you don't have to make something people want that nobody else could make because it's so complex and you're awesome. You just have to make something people want.
Twitter could easily have built the functionality to share pictures into twitter (Like facebook did). Heck - then they might have a reasonable revenue stream.
If Twitter had done that, twitpic would have been stomped on.
But I agree, why not try stuff like this... Might just work.
Chance of Success * Reward - Cost. Just because the chance of success is low doesn't mean it's a bad idea.
To clarify; I didn't mean to talk down the author nor the site. I was just expressing my surprise (and partly envy) about the success of such a seemingly trivial project.
My laugh/cry statement was about the fact how I (and many others) struggle in comparison. Seeing a site like this take off is a bit disconcerting. But well, you can't blame the lottery winner.
Feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@noaheverett) if you have any questions.
Question: How did you respond to the leaked Twitter notes in which the Twitter guys talked about "blessing" another Twitter photosharing application instead of you? That had to be a low point. I remember when I first read that I clucked my tongue in sympathy for you. Do you suppose the Twitter guys would rather just work with a known quantity instead of some guy out in SC?
(ctrl+F for "twitpic" to find the relevant section)
Disclaimer: I don't know Noah, I have never used TwitPic, I have nothing for or against Noah and / or TwitPic, so take all of this with an ENORMOUS grain of salt since this is nothing more than pure speculation
My reading of the situation tells me that he's just really uncomfortable talking about the conversations he's had with VCs, and doesn't know how to convey that without being awkward.
That said I've never really understood his motivation for handling TwitPic the way that he does, but that's definitely not my place to criticise.
To be 100% clear, my post was purely speculation. I was just about to delete it before I saw you'd replied.
Sooo... were the VCs interested in getting you to add manpower or spend money on marketing (or something else, like infrastructure)?
Anyway, when you do move look me up.
I was doing an interview and didn't see your comment till now.
But I'm still at that pre-$5m net worth stage where having more than that would basically set me for life. If I were already wealthy, the rules would be totally different. At the moment I just want to hop that fence, then forget all about money (to a point).
This is what happens when your business is a commodity (and you're not the one who commoditized it).
You said that currently you have $1.5M+ revenues, and margins of 70%. What are the current cost breakdowns right now? Other than salary, what other ongoing costs do you have?