cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street

Four short links: 6 November 2013

Silicon Valley, San Francisco

Today I saw the future (Update) | Brendan Eich -- As noted at the Mozilla blog, OTOY and Amazon along with Autodesk and Mozilla have announced the next step in Amazon and OTOYs GPU/cloud effort.

When a great product hits the funding crunch -- Today I read a well-done article by The Verge on the shutdown of Everpix, a photo startup thats gained a small but loyal following. Theres a lot of things to comment on, but the Everpix story is a common one these days- a lot of startups have built great initial products, and even shown some strong engagement, but ultimately not enough traction to gain a Series A. Then you raise $1-2M to get traction on your product. Maybe angel investors will expect a working product, reasonable traction, and product/market fit all before they put in the first $1M? If you combine this with the rest of your schedule, like 6 months to raise VC, another 6-12 months to build the product, etc., then you dont have much time to hit your traction milestones.

Out of the picture: why the world's best photo startup is going out of business ... -- One day last month, the seven employees of Everpix gathered at their co-working space in San Francisco to discuss the company's impending shutdown. Were not going to be able to pay," said Pierre-Olivier Latour, who had the idea for Everpix four years ago after a vacation left him struggling to organize the hundreds of photos he took on the trip. Starting in June, Latour tried to raise $5 million to give Everpix more time to become profitable. But Path's executive team killed the deal at the last minute, leaving Everpix adrift. They spent the next few months building a prototype of their service, which they were now calling Everpix. To the team's surprise, Everpix became a finalist at the competition. A free option let you see all your photos from the past year, or longer if you connected your desktop computer to the Everpix iOS app. A feature called Flashbacks sent users daily emails of their photos from the same day in prior years, which led to a huge spike in the number of users who returned to Everpix daily. Everpix built some features for sharing photos, but there was little else in the product to help it spread to other people. "You guys seem to be a spectacularly talented team and some informal reference checking confirmed that, but everyone here is hung up on the concern over being able to build a $100M revenue subscription business in photos in this age of free photo tools." And while the product wasn't particularly difficult to use, it did have a learning curve and required a commitment to entrust an unknown startup with your life's memories a hard sell that Everpix never got around to making much easier.

Putting Your Heart On The Line -- Because it takes incredible courage to stand on a stage, in front of people you dont know, and put your heart on the line. Most difficult of all, they wont stand in front of a room to be openly judged. Watching a group of people put their heart on the line, it left me wanting to get up and stand on that stage again. All that really matters is you are willing to do what most people wont: Put your heart on the line.

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