Don't bet against a world-class hustler who can also build cool shit. And that's Bill Nguyen.
Let's remember how Lala came to be. He built a service for swapping physical CDs, which promised to make sure that every album ever recorded made its way onto Bittorrent (since someone could rip and flip an album that had never been encoded for <$1). He managed to use that as leverage on the record labels to give him extremely permissive licensing for the Lala streaming service, in exchange for shutting down the CD swapping business. I've been involved in content negotiations with record labels, and they do not give up ground easily. Not even Apple seem to be able to get that far...and they're Apple.
Then, he managed to get Sequoia to give their highest-ever pre-launch funding round. Sequoia isn't known for being a pack of dummies. Color has probably spent less than 10% of that round so far. There's a billion dollar market somewhere in this mobile photo sharing thing (I can't see it yet, but I can smell it), and I wouldn't be shocked if he's the one to cash in on it. Color has an accomplished team, and enough cash to make plenty of mistakes. He might have used every buzzword on earth to raise the round, but it worked, and now he's got plenty of gas in the tank to build something genuinely disruptive. And if Lala is any indication, he knows how to disrupt markets and build tight products (Lala was at least 2 years ahead of its time as a product).
While Color app might sound like it was created by pasting together TechCrunch and FastCompany articles, this is only the beginning for them. Color is clearly in it for the long haul.
He sold OneBox in 2000 for $850M (I realize that's insane-o bubble money), then started Seven (which is used by pretty much every carrier I can think of), and then sold LaLa to Apple for $80M.
Where will the billion dollar come from? Getting paid to take pictures next to McDonalds?
Final addendum: Redditization is a serious concern, and per broken windows theory, Reddit-like comments should not be encouraged at all: http://paulgraham.com/hackernews.html
> The most dangerous form of stupid comment is not the long but mistaken argument, but the dumb joke.
That’s what I am starting to see a lot of.
The constant, incessant, unstoppable bitching that Hacker News is turning into Reddit makes me kind of wish that it will, just so everybody will shut up about it and get back to discussing news. You should have completed the trifecta with a "Flagged." on a line by itself.
Irony that a community founded around Y Combinator finds its greatest fear of evolving into a Y Combinator success.
Edit: Oooo, a pass! Is it single-use, or can I save it for my next almost-insightful comment?
I'd donate a paycheck to watch that nuclear fallout.
Then we will never speak of it again.
I bet there is a clear age division between the two groups. I had the distinct impression that reddit had gotten younger when I left.
Regards, a prince from Nigeria
There is nothing conspicuous about this.
In my circle, it is customary for such investments to be accompanied by a Ruby, some railway track, and sometimes a small mammal called a 'mongo', or if one can't be found, a couch is acceptable.
As an act of good faith, please post a photo of yourself, proving that you have said items.
Thanks and best regards,
A photo sharing service sharing service.
Edit: Apparently Van Halen used "5150" for an album title. Shows how out of touch I am.
I'm not sure if this one bad investment is a horseman of the startups apocalypse but I think the valuation is definitely wayyyy off.
I still wish them the best but until this thing hits critical mass I don't see myself using it....
Maybe that was the plan all along.....Get alot of hype and backlash at a crappy app...get alot of users willing to try it since it sucks soo much...BAM...critical mass => the app now has value??
(to be fair, the Color service will certainly be more useful)
Shouldn't we be happy for our startup brethren? Does color's funding hurt you (or the industry?). I imagine all this froth is serving to make it easier for worthy people to get investment, raising developer salaries and other generally good things.
Would appreciate serious feedback.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_bubble#Aftermath briefly mentions the ripple effect on programming jobs.
As a result, there tends to be some animosity toward watching the cycle repeat itself.
A good point, but with respect to the .com bubble, Internet commerce's crash also affected the entire economy as well as ancillary companies in the IT sector. So I'm not sure that I necessarily agree; I work for a hosting company, and all of these bubble companies need hosting. You can see where A meets B, there.
Bubbles sicken me because they truly bring out the worst of the investor types, the ones who will throw money at anything regardless of its use case.
This is $41 fucking million dollars we're talking about here, and it's spent on a god damned mobile application to connect people with others in random arbitrary situations. People do not have a difficult time doing this, an application on a phone isn't going to make a difference. We're all human at the end of the day.
Now stop and think about what that $41 million could do in this world. This is nothing more than a bunch of rich kids circle jerking one another in what's a disgusting take on business principles in general. $41 million could create several businesses that could further create more jobs for the US economy; $41 million could be fucking used to help Japan out of a bind.
Instead, it's being used to buy a domain name for $350,000. It's being used to build another mobile application that isn't even that technically impressive. It's sickening, and I would never consider working for a company like that. As an engineer, I'd very much question those who'd consider it.
Get the fuck over yourselves.
I have a serious question: why do people
get upset at bubbles?
But more importantly, a bubble doesn't keep going. It eventually pops and then the entire industry suffers. Why would you want the industry to suffer? You make money in it, I assume.
Think outside the bubble.
Bubbles collapse, generally with painful consequences for the entire industry. Great business ideas that would've gotten funding during a non-bubble often can't find funding after a bubble.
In the case where investment capital flows to ultimately unproductive enterprises like photo sharing, and away from productive enterprises like efficient batteries, cancer drugs, etc, humanity suffers in the long term.
Now it's possible that the proliferation of photo sharing services is increasing the efficiency of photo sharing that people were doing previously, thus freeing up time to engage in other productive pursuits, so it's not necessarily a bad thing to sink investment capital into ventures that appear unproductive in and of themselves.
But I would highly suspect that this is not the case for the current bubble. It's quite likely that photo sharing apps are actually generating demand for photo sharing activity, thus being a net drain on actual economically productive activity.
Amazing how many brilliant minds and millions of dollars have been applied to enable people to share photos.
I just had to reply to that one!
Man am I thankful I have something awesome to do with the rest of my day.
Conclusion: no one really knows what they got funded for. Sure, a stealth company getting 40M in funding is bad; but getting 40M for an app called Colors is what's got people ticking.
edit: Or the Jabberywocky presentation:
Add porn, raise the round to 80 mil and we have a deal.
Seriously though, how many "social"...excuse me "elastic" networks do people need to be a part of? I'm one of those weird people who doesn't care that my "friend", whom I've never actually met or spoken a single word to, is getting ready to brush her teeth (yes, I know she is probably a he). With Color in particular, I don't understand how sharing photos with people who are within eye sight is interesting considering you are seeing the same thing!?!?
The presentation of Color is slick, but from a usability aspect, the video looked very confusing. Admittedly I haven't tried using the app since no one I've talked to about it has installed it and the app store description clearly states "Warning: Don't use Color alone". I personally hold nothing against the Color team for taking the money, but VCs COME ON! Even if VCs are investing in apps like this in hopes of a Facebook or Google acquisition, $41,000,000 seems ridiculous. Then again, I'm just a developer hoping someday I'll create something that someone thinks is worth a buck.
When was the song released? December of 2007.
I have one lagging question I can't seem to find an answer for: Where can I register a .xxx domain?
Awesome job, guys.