The idea (of a central event feed) still stands, but as with any general idea there is a considerable amount of luck involved with acquiring the critical mass that leads to the exponent.
That being said, I am a bit sad (really, I am) to see someone quit his startup to join an upstart. I would rather see him go through YC again and surprise us with his next idea. I am sure this Jazzy Chad has a couple of more ideas, but maybe he is a bit burned and wants to take a break.
Take your break, Mr Jazzy, but be sure to return and push something out again.
Same with mentions on IRC.
So yeah, I'm a bit disappointed that it's going away - I liked the app, and was always surprised I didn't know more people using it. I wish Chad all the best for the future, and thanks for your hard work.
When I read posts like this, the full acceptance of failure by US entrepreneurs, startups & business, I lament this positive trait isn't acknowledged in my country.
In English, if I want to get two things done, I aim for 5, hit three, and happily fail humiliatingly on my other two goals. In Germany, 'a plan is a promise', and anything you publically disclose absolutely must be completed.
I always liked the concept behind notifo.. but also was wondering how it'd make money. But then, you can think of hundreds of startups and think the same way "How would they make money!?" and still, they're there for years and years. (Twitter someone?)
Also, for that matter, Dropbox did initially put out their current set of paid storage plans as an 'interim' measure, until they could settle on a wider range of rates more suited to the general public (there is a fair amount of opinion suggesting that their prices are rather steep, even given the awesome extra features they provide...)
But after following Chad (and also Paul) with their ventures (even though I don't know them personally) and I just feel like this is one example where it is true: Yes, it didn't work out, yes, a lot of money was invested and not earned back.But ultimately a lot was learned and Chad has shown his development skills and ability to ship something. The business model was not perfect, maybe the market was non-existant. But the way they have run this project and the way they are handling it now gives them more credibility than trying to hide a stagnant startup.
Sounds like another point in favor of multi-founder startups. I wouldn't consider even a talent acquisition to be "dying" if the founders end up happy about it.
Edit: I just found a post about your experience on your blog, thanks for writing about it already. For others who are curious about this, see here: http://blog.jazzychad.net/2011/08/31/applying-to-yc-as-a-sin...
Also, I had no idea Paul Stamatiou left to join Picplum. How often do YC alums jump from a still running startup to another? Is it common?
It would be really interesting if you could share more of your experiences as a startup founder and some feedback to upcoming founders regarding how your startup ended up this way.
We are embarking on this adventure ourselves, and right now our biggest disadvantage is experience in the startup arena. We work hard, we are passionate and we have great ideas... just like you. But I believe that is not enough.
So anything else you could share would be great.
I have a couple more that are written, but now is not the time to post them.
Whenever you feel is right, share your thoughts. :D
If you understand the games it's about. I have no idea what the rules of baseball are, how you win, how you lose, etc. (I'm French) and found the whole baseball paragraph hard to understand.
In the end it seems to mean that you can lose trying, or lose not even trying -- but if one's not trying why are they even in the field?
IMHO such posts should be more informative: what was the original plan to make money, what was tried, what failed and why; who were supposed to be the paying customers: users, carriers, phone makers, app developers or...?
And what were the operating costs? Wouldn't it have been possible to keep it running "on the side"?
As such it's a sad story that makes us sad; but we'd like to learn more.
Kudos for having the gumption to write this all down. Best of luck at Twilio. They're lucky to have landed you.
And, given you haven't had a recorded out but instead just failed to find the success needed to get on base, perhaps you just kept fouling the ball off until you got tired and decided to retire :)
All the best at Twilio :-)
You seem like a sharp guy with tons of enthusiasm for what you have built (and will build in the future), so I am sure you will be successful here in SV.
On the single co-founder aspect - wow, I can't imagine. Aside from the moral support though, one thing you might want to consider is how a second cofounder could provide complementary/different skills from your own.
For example, partner with a business type person. Business models are hard, but lots of people have been through the experience of testing various pricing models, and could probably help you get closer to $$ faster.
I look forward to your post-mortem article. I wish more startups who do not "make it" come out and write about their experience so that we don't hear only about the successful ones. I certainly admire people who are successful, but I truly respect those who fail and are not afraid to admit it and learn from what went wrong.
The world has lots of stories on starting up, but way too few on shutting down. If you can bear to, please write about your experiences!
Whatever the exact reasons for this unfortunate event are, maybe a second founder could have helped averting this.
1 - Never Give Up on the current project.
2 - Never Give Up on big ideas.
Hang in there and heed PG's advice on #2. It's very small consolation, but you're 20 months smarter and wiser than when you started, and the market is still receptive. Be resilient, and you will land well.
In the next few months, if you can muster up the energy (and desire) I think the community would love to hear a post-mortem and/or some thoughts about how you could have pivoted into a successful business model.
Keep your head up, the experienced gained is invaluable!
Do you mind sharing any lessons? What's the cost like for running Notifo?