I’ve come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:
1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.
Getting a startup job for the startup newbie
Color: A photo app truly worthy of our new cameras
For those too lazy to read it, Color is a photo app, where all the content is public and the primary way of interacting with content and people is location. I’m really not doing it justice here but I don’t want to quote the whole TechCrunch article so check that out and you can find a richer explanation.
So I’m really excited about this app for a number of reasons. First, it’s audacious. This app isn’t like any of the current “social photo” apps. That’s going to be a little bit challenging for adoption, but God help me, I do love a bold plan.
It’s sad that at this point LBS is such a cliche. Mobile and location have been buzzy for a while for their own sakes but Color tries to realize some of that promise. Most social photo apps are the equivalent of analog cameras with social and location bolted on. You can add friends and see their photos. You can encode the photos with location so that you can see them on a map or access it later. But these are really just adding new features to old thinking.
Photos organized by location are far more interesting than text, which is most of what has been tried up until now. Viewing twitter updates or even a yobongo discussion can be hit and miss. Just because we share location doesn’t mean we necessarily share the same topic. You could sit right beside me and talk about people and events that I don’t know and/or don’t care about. If we are, however, sharing physical space, a photo of yours is at least going to be close to what I’m interested in.
Color is an app that couldn’t have existed before pervasive smartphone usage and leverages that. It’s not just a camera you carry all the time. It’s a device complete with a vast array of sensors that can capture and share media. Making the location the organizing principle and deriving my social graph with that data really do the device justice.
I want to use this app.
Now, I’ll also say that I like the current flock of social photo apps for what they are. Filters are fun. I’ve enjoyed consuming and sharing unique scenes and images. I like what Path is doing as well with their experimentation around group dynamics and what social means.
It’s clear that this rev of the app isn’t the end all be all of this dream. I like the vision and the direction but no one is saying this current release can’t be improved. I’ll be particularly interested in how they overcome the cold-start issues. This isn’t an app with a 1-player mode at all. This is going to be absolutely magical once all of my friends are on it but before that… That’s a really tough nut to crack and I haven’t seen in the current incarnation of the app any features that draw in new users.
I’m looking forward to the future of this app and also seeing this thinking cascade out to other tools.
First things first, we want to thank all of you for your support and feedback over the past several months.
Our goal at Hot Potato is to make it easy to share what you’re doing with friends and connect with others who have similar interests. We’ve been hard at work on some new…
Realize that a startup puts you on an emotional rollercoaster unlike anything you have ever experienced. You will flip rapidly from a day in which you are euphorically convinced you are going to own the world, to a day in which doom seems only weeks away and you feel completely ruined, and back again. Over and over and over.
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter—the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these three trembling cities the greatest is the last—the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high-strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness; natives give it solidity and continuity; but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from Italy to set up a small grocery store in a slum, or a young girl arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh eyes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.
If you are here, your network will be using all of the latest tools – Twitter, Foursquare, Quora, Nexus One, etc., before other networks in other cities will. These networks hit critical mass here earlier and are thus more valuable to the early adopters here. You’ll have a 3-month+ head start on people outside to see what’s coming next. Imagine trying to design next year’s clothing without firsthand immersion in this year’s fashion, in Milan or Paris.
From a post titled “Why You Need to be in Silicon Valley”.
In general I hate posts like this. I don’t live in SIlicon Valley, but I do spend quite a bit of time there. I want to believe that twitter streams and blog comments allow anyone, anywhere to follow and make connections with the most plugged in silicon valley digerati. This ought to allow them to spot emerging trends from anywhere they chose to live without being sucked into the Silicon Valley echo chamber.
Is this wishful thinking or does being in Silicon Valley still give you an insurmountable edge?
I think this is just another case of how people assume their success is directly related to every choice they made and can recommend no other course. In my experience, if you ask anyone where you need to be to start a company, the chief indicator of what their response will be is where they live. If you ask if you should go to business school, the chief indicator is if they went. If you ask how to raise money, what investors, or just where to get your paper supplies, they go back to what they did.
Perfectly understandable but it completely overlooks all of the things particular to the person asking. Where should you start your company? Well, where is YOUR personal network the richest? Where can YOU find the best talent? Where are YOUR customers and investors?
Me? Thanks, but I’m going to ride this whole Brooklyn thing out. Viva la Hot Potato!