Zooomr next big “inch”

Mashable reviewed Zooomr vs. Flickr today. Good review and covers the differences. Mashable wrote: “Zooomr is an impressive effort for a two-man team.” One thing the review didn’t cover is internationalization. Zooomr is ahead of Flickr there, many of its fans are outside the US. We’re so English-centric here in the blogosphere sometimes.

But, that all said, Zooomr has some significant challenges ahead of it. And that’s being kind to “significant.”

Disclaimer: Kristopher and Thomas are friends of mine. I don’t have any financial interest in Zooomr.

Why do we still care about Zooomr?

After all, any other Web 2.0 business that had been down for two weeks would just have been written off. One reason we still care is because Zooomr did pretty well over their two-weeks of hell (they were down for two weeks) by staying visible thanks to live video streaming on UStream.tv.

I can only speak for myself, but I love David vs. Goliath stories. And today Flickr is the one with all the cool branding and many of, if not most of, the coolest photographers. If you get some bloggers together they rarely talk about any other photo sharing site. Even Yahoo’s other photo service, that had more photos, was shuttered in preference to Flickr. It is the Goliath to Zooomr’s David. It +is+ amazing that a single developer got this far.

It’s romantic to know that Zooomr is really only one 19-year-old developer going against, um, Yahoo and CNET and MySpace.

There’s one problem with all of this: Zooomr is getting too good FEATURES WISE. It is starting to attract an audience and that audience means that Zooomr needs to move from an experiment phase to a real professionally-run business. Or, it needs to admit to itself that it can’t be run as a professional business and Kristopher needs to shut it down gracefully and go be gainfully employed elsewhere (he’s VERY employable at this point).

Even today, after being down for two weeks, it’s getting written up on many of the best blogs and is getting some decent reviews. Go back and read Mashable. Zooomr actually won in a few categories and is opening up a new business model: selling photographs for sub-$100 prices.

Flickr is still my favorite photosharing site and Zooomr is still a LONG ways away from gaining trust, not to mention gaining the necessary features to really be considered a top-tier service in the photo sharing game.

I can instantly think of thousands of pictures taken every weekend that’ll be attractive to a Zooomr business plan: wedding photography. When Maryam and I got married the photographer wanted to charge $20 for prints. Sounds like an interesting idea to take to the Web. There’s lots of photographers who are getting Digital SLRs (hundreds of thousands are sold every year worldwide) and many of these photographers are getting good enough to sell their photography online. Especially if you get lucky and get a news event or a celebrity in your lens.

But here’s the rub: Zooomr doesn’t yet have a real datacenter. If it’s really going to grow dramatically they are going to need to have someone running the datacenter and they are going to need big bucks to give a serious effort in the datacenter.

This is why Flickr sold out to Yahoo in the first place: keeping these services running professionally needs to be done by someone with a wee bit more experience than a 19-year-old. Brilliant as he may be. Kristopher himself realizes that, especially given that Zooomr’s datacenter is now inside Zoho’s datacenter (they have millions of dollars of equipment) which is inside a bigger datacenter that’s dominated by racks of Google’s computers (Zooomr’s few servers are surrounded on all four sides by stacks of Google racks).

Zoho just bought a new system made by Rackable that cost around $400,000 in order to compete (stay always up, and always give fast response times). Data center equipment is NOT cheap.

And we’re not even talking about the salaries (Kristopher and Thomas need to pay rent, buy food, etc.) and all the other costs of running a business.

So, why can Guy Kawasaki build a Web 2.0 site with just $12,000 and Zooomr needs a lot more? Well, a few reasons.

1) Zooomr has real value, real community, real users and a real business plan (selling photos could bring in some decent revenues, even though my VC friends are pretty darn skeptical and point to Getty and Corbis as examples of photo selling sites that don’t make much profit).
2) Truemors only has to deal with tiny text files. Get 100,000 users on that and you can run off of a tiny server. Maybe even a co-hosted server (my blog, for instance, is hosted along with more than a million other bloggers). Zooomr’s customers, on the other hand, regularly upload files that are more than 10MB PER IMAGE!! Huge in comparison.
3) Zooomr has tons of competition to compare it to. If it isn’t as fast, or faster, than Photobucket, Flickr, Smugmug, etc. you all will know it and will avoid the service. Heck, me too! Being fast and reliable requires a professionally-run datacenter (and excellence in other parts of the business too).

So, what now? Well, it’s been a nice experiment so far. They have quite a bit of love from the community. Which is why they got some free servers and help from a variety of companies (thank you Zoho!). But, that love isn’t going to extend to the next level necessarily (although it sure would be smart for a big company to use them as a testbed and show what the future of datacenters might look like — imagine if Sun Microsystems or Dell demonstrated its newest computers and showed how much more efficient a startup would be if it chose to use its computers rather than someone else. But that’s really not something I’d bet on happening, I think it’s time for Kris and Thomas to go to Sand Hill Road and explain how they are going to make a real business out of Zooomr).

My advice? You have something like 56 days of free loan on that Sun Microsystems equipment. Make that your deadline. Keep Zooomr up, but spend your days working on a business plan (there should be lots of people who can help out there) and go to Sand Hill Road and get some funding.

One other thought I had: I wish I had the faith in doing the impossible like Kristopher has. He was really down in a deep hole the past two weeks — friends of mine told me that lesser people would have cracked and given up. I saw him off camera and he was really in a tough spot. I told him about when I was in a deep hole in my life and I just tried to make each day a little better than the last. Jeff Sandquist and Lenn Pryor used to tell us on Channel 9 “inch-by-inch.” He really has impressed me by getting the service back up. He could have cried “Uncle” and gone to work for a big company and collected a paycheck like the rest of us but he stuck it out and got those servers back online. The lessons he learned the past two weeks will prove very valuable to him later in life. I hope I live long enough to see him get the success I think is ahead of him.

That brings me to this speech, which is how I’ll end this up. It’s one that Jeff (my boss at Microsoft) used to play for us when it looked like we weren’t going to get our way, or things weren’t getting done. Dave Winer has sent this to me a few times too over the past eight years. Kristopher and Thomas: this is your video. Go for it! We’re cheering. Just remember, 56 days and counting…

75 thoughts on “Zooomr next big “inch”

  1. Pingback: Zoli's Blog
  2. I know smugmug uses S3 for backups. I’m not talking about just a data storage solution (S3) but also a hosting solution (EC2)… I’m thinking that if both your hosting and data (EC2+S3) are running on amazon’s network, the performance may be much better. I haven’t used it myself, as I’m a .NET programmer and EC2 isn’t Windows ready, but for a LAMP solution, it might be ideal. From the case studies (http://www.amazon.com/Success-Stories-AWS-home-page/b/ref=sc
    _fe_l_1/104-3571117-7987931?ie=UTF8&node=182241011&n
    o=3435361&me=A36L942TSJ2AJA), it seems like some companies are doing an entire hosted solution on amazon’s services successfully.

  3. I know smugmug uses S3 for backups. I’m not talking about just a data storage solution (S3) but also a hosting solution (EC2)… I’m thinking that if both your hosting and data (EC2+S3) are running on amazon’s network, the performance may be much better. I haven’t used it myself, as I’m a .NET programmer and EC2 isn’t Windows ready, but for a LAMP solution, it might be ideal. From the case studies (http://www.amazon.com/Success-Stories-AWS-home-page/b/ref=sc
    _fe_l_1/104-3571117-7987931?ie=UTF8&node=182241011&n
    o=3435361&me=A36L942TSJ2AJA), it seems like some companies are doing an entire hosted solution on amazon’s services successfully.

  4. Chris: they are evaluating those services but they don’t seem fast enough to build a real Flickr competitor. SmugMug uses Amazon’s S3, but only for backups, not for front-end systems.

  5. Chris: they are evaluating those services but they don’t seem fast enough to build a real Flickr competitor. SmugMug uses Amazon’s S3, but only for backups, not for front-end systems.

  6. Dead: yeah, that isn’t good if it’s straight up copying.

    Thomas isn’t a full-time CEO (he has a day job). He also isn’t that technical. Kristopher is the guy who built the system. He’s the one who needs to answer these charges.

  7. Dead: yeah, that isn’t good if it’s straight up copying.

    Thomas isn’t a full-time CEO (he has a day job). He also isn’t that technical. Kristopher is the guy who built the system. He’s the one who needs to answer these charges.

  8. Robert: I’m not talking about “influence” but about copying someone else copyrighted text and code and publishing it under your own copyright.
    That’s how I understand the problem pointed by Flickr users, and I’m really surprised that CEO of Zooomr could not deny these accusations right away.
    I’m not a lawyer and I can be dead wrong but all this stuff smells really bad for me.

  9. Robert: I’m not talking about “influence” but about copying someone else copyrighted text and code and publishing it under your own copyright.
    That’s how I understand the problem pointed by Flickr users, and I’m really surprised that CEO of Zooomr could not deny these accusations right away.
    I’m not a lawyer and I can be dead wrong but all this stuff smells really bad for me.

  10. Yep, LayZ – it seems to be down again. The truth is – it was bad strategy on their part to try to do their own hardware infrastructure (they should have gone to a service provider). But, you don’t expect at 19-year old developer and a photographer CEO to understand IT strategy. I think it’s a given that anyone investing in this team knows they have to fix the IT strategy. So, in that sense the up-time problems won’t count against them.

    However, at this point, because of everything that’s gone (and keeps going) wrong, I expect the question in interested VCs minds might be – “If we wanted to take a punt on this, what’s the smallest amount of money we’d have to spend to find out quickly if Kristopher has done something special here, or if it’s just pile of hacked-together, poorly engineered, unstable rubbish.”

  11. Yep, LayZ – it seems to be down again. The truth is – it was bad strategy on their part to try to do their own hardware infrastructure (they should have gone to a service provider). But, you don’t expect at 19-year old developer and a photographer CEO to understand IT strategy. I think it’s a given that anyone investing in this team knows they have to fix the IT strategy. So, in that sense the up-time problems won’t count against them.

    However, at this point, because of everything that’s gone (and keeps going) wrong, I expect the question in interested VCs minds might be – “If we wanted to take a punt on this, what’s the smallest amount of money we’d have to spend to find out quickly if Kristopher has done something special here, or if it’s just pile of hacked-together, poorly engineered, unstable rubbish.”

  12. Why not build on Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services? I’d think that would end up being much more economical and reliable than trying to set up a data center from scratch… Scale out instead of scaling up.

  13. Why not build on Amazon’s S3 and EC2 services? I’d think that would end up being much more economical and reliable than trying to set up a data center from scratch… Scale out instead of scaling up.

  14. DeadPig: let’s see. DOS was really “influenced” by CPM. How much money did that make? Macs were “influenced” by Xerox work. How much money did those make? Heck, then Microsoft was “influenced” by Macs (Apple even sued and lost). How much money did that make? VC’s fund “clone & improve” business plans all the time.

    I didn’t realize that Flickr had trackbacks. Or let you see full resolution photos. Or have other social features that Zooomr has.

  15. DeadPig: let’s see. DOS was really “influenced” by CPM. How much money did that make? Macs were “influenced” by Xerox work. How much money did those make? Heck, then Microsoft was “influenced” by Macs (Apple even sued and lost). How much money did that make? VC’s fund “clone & improve” business plans all the time.

    I didn’t realize that Flickr had trackbacks. Or let you see full resolution photos. Or have other social features that Zooomr has.

  16. @10. Well the first thing they might try is figuring how to keep their site up long enough for anyone to get a idea what they are trying to do. Everytime I’ve tried to go to the site to see what all the fuss is about, I get “500 Internal server error”

    From what I’ve read it seems their business plan is to copy/steal from Flickr and service the international market. What am I missing? So, do they have plans to defend themselves from IP lawsuits? How much revenue do they plan to generate from subscriptions in the first year and how much of that will need to go to attorneys?

  17. @10. Well the first thing they might try is figuring how to keep their site up long enough for anyone to get a idea what they are trying to do. Everytime I’ve tried to go to the site to see what all the fuss is about, I get “500 Internal server error”

    From what I’ve read it seems their business plan is to copy/steal from Flickr and service the international market. What am I missing? So, do they have plans to defend themselves from IP lawsuits? How much revenue do they plan to generate from subscriptions in the first year and how much of that will need to go to attorneys?

  18. What kind of VC in their right mind would invest in company that steals code from its main competitors site?!

  19. What kind of VC in their right mind would invest in company that steals code from its main competitors site?!

  20. Karoli, i don’t think anyone has issues with zooomr being a “ripoff” of flickr because of the features. And you’re totally right, Web 2.0 stuff is a lot of ripping off, building upon and putting their own spin on things. Which is exactually what zooomr are doing.

    I think the ripoff people are talking about in the thread is the wholesale copying of code, javascript, stylesheets and images from flickr. Examples in that thread have been given here and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600288796893/72157600313180680/
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=531146544&size=o

    Where anyone doing a view source on zooomr will see near identical code and variable names as flickr, right down to the same mistakes. Nobody is getting at HQ23 or smugmug or zoto for displaying photos or having sets, because they wrote their own code. People are jumping on this because Kris Tate *apparently* stole a bunch of code (and it’s hard to see how it hasn’t been stolen and I’m happy to see someone argue for zooomr as to how the code isn’t a copy) and then built extra features on top of it.

    Which is certainly one way of doing things, but probably not the right way.

    The question has been asked of a now apparently drunk Thomas Hawk (who’s posting song lyrics on flickr now)

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600288796893/page5/#comment72157600312779417

    Who somehow even though being a CEO isn’t even aware that the code is a copy. Now we get to wait until he sobers up enough to ask Kris for an answer, something he hasn’t done so far.

    Before zooomr even look to get any cash they need to radically rewrite their code to obviously be their own.

  21. Karoli, i don’t think anyone has issues with zooomr being a “ripoff” of flickr because of the features. And you’re totally right, Web 2.0 stuff is a lot of ripping off, building upon and putting their own spin on things. Which is exactually what zooomr are doing.

    I think the ripoff people are talking about in the thread is the wholesale copying of code, javascript, stylesheets and images from flickr. Examples in that thread have been given here and here:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600288796893/72157600313180680/
    http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=531146544&size=o

    Where anyone doing a view source on zooomr will see near identical code and variable names as flickr, right down to the same mistakes. Nobody is getting at HQ23 or smugmug or zoto for displaying photos or having sets, because they wrote their own code. People are jumping on this because Kris Tate *apparently* stole a bunch of code (and it’s hard to see how it hasn’t been stolen and I’m happy to see someone argue for zooomr as to how the code isn’t a copy) and then built extra features on top of it.

    Which is certainly one way of doing things, but probably not the right way.

    The question has been asked of a now apparently drunk Thomas Hawk (who’s posting song lyrics on flickr now)

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/central/discuss/72157600288796893/page5/#comment72157600312779417

    Who somehow even though being a CEO isn’t even aware that the code is a copy. Now we get to wait until he sobers up enough to ask Kris for an answer, something he hasn’t done so far.

    Before zooomr even look to get any cash they need to radically rewrite their code to obviously be their own.

  22. sorry for the second post, but I’ve been meaning to go back through the Google magic archives for some idea of what Flickr was like in 2004. This PDF copy of a Powerpoint presentation on Niall Kennedy’s site is very interesting indeed. Note the issues Flickr faced with server load and balancing in the early days. A search on the term “Flickr down 2005″ yields over 200 results.

    Next, Digg.com. From an interview with Kevin Rose in Sept. 2006:

    5) Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, what are two of the decisions you made at Digg since 2004 that you would have done differently?

    1) We would have hired a DBA sooner. Once you hit a certain level of growth, it helps you scale, you have to add servers. It is important to have good database administrators.

    2) I would have pulled the crew together sooner. We were all working remotely. It is better to have everyone under the same roof, in the same office. Productivity goes through the roof.

    (Kris and Thomas, take note)

    A similar Google search for the term “Digg Down” yields over 80,000 results, some as recent as December, 2006.

    Whether funded or not, scaling is a constant issue with the popular social networking sites. I just bookmarked a post today from your shared items, Robert, entitled “The Internet Has Scaling Problems”.

    What would be interesting to do (and boy-genius Yuvi might be the one to do it) is an analysis of the evolution of Flickr from mid 2004 to the present day. It’s had 3 years to mature, as has Digg. Both had the means to do it…now let’s see if Zooomr can, too.

  23. sorry for the second post, but I’ve been meaning to go back through the Google magic archives for some idea of what Flickr was like in 2004. This PDF copy of a Powerpoint presentation on Niall Kennedy’s site is very interesting indeed. Note the issues Flickr faced with server load and balancing in the early days. A search on the term “Flickr down 2005″ yields over 200 results.

    Next, Digg.com. From an interview with Kevin Rose in Sept. 2006:

    5) Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, what are two of the decisions you made at Digg since 2004 that you would have done differently?

    1) We would have hired a DBA sooner. Once you hit a certain level of growth, it helps you scale, you have to add servers. It is important to have good database administrators.

    2) I would have pulled the crew together sooner. We were all working remotely. It is better to have everyone under the same roof, in the same office. Productivity goes through the roof.

    (Kris and Thomas, take note)

    A similar Google search for the term “Digg Down” yields over 80,000 results, some as recent as December, 2006.

    Whether funded or not, scaling is a constant issue with the popular social networking sites. I just bookmarked a post today from your shared items, Robert, entitled “The Internet Has Scaling Problems”.

    What would be interesting to do (and boy-genius Yuvi might be the one to do it) is an analysis of the evolution of Flickr from mid 2004 to the present day. It’s had 3 years to mature, as has Digg. Both had the means to do it…now let’s see if Zooomr can, too.

  24. Gosh, Robert, I was hoping to get to bed at a decent hour and then your post popped up (late, I might add…doggone Google Reader) in my feeds.

    I think you’ve nailed it. I hate to say so, but yes…it’s going to take $$$$ to make Zooomr work.

    I was a little surprised that there would be a Zooomr/Flickr head-to-head so early in Zooomr’s life, but given that there is, my response to those who say it’s a Flickr ripoff is this: What Web 2.0 app isn’t a ripoff of another one?

    Characteristics of the second-generation internet community: Ratings/Rankings, comments, user-created groups, social networking features like adding contacts, etc. They’re all the same with different clothes on. So what? It’s the community at Flickr that keeps me there, and it’s the community at Zooomr that brings me there, too. That, and as Robert points out, the David/Goliath aspect that gets me cheering.

    I’ve got a kid 2 years younger than Kristopher who also has big dreams and a ton of talent (not web talent, but talent nevertheless). I want to see them both succeed in big ways, because what they bring to the table is worth the risks they’re taking.

  25. Gosh, Robert, I was hoping to get to bed at a decent hour and then your post popped up (late, I might add…doggone Google Reader) in my feeds.

    I think you’ve nailed it. I hate to say so, but yes…it’s going to take $$$$ to make Zooomr work.

    I was a little surprised that there would be a Zooomr/Flickr head-to-head so early in Zooomr’s life, but given that there is, my response to those who say it’s a Flickr ripoff is this: What Web 2.0 app isn’t a ripoff of another one?

    Characteristics of the second-generation internet community: Ratings/Rankings, comments, user-created groups, social networking features like adding contacts, etc. They’re all the same with different clothes on. So what? It’s the community at Flickr that keeps me there, and it’s the community at Zooomr that brings me there, too. That, and as Robert points out, the David/Goliath aspect that gets me cheering.

    I’ve got a kid 2 years younger than Kristopher who also has big dreams and a ton of talent (not web talent, but talent nevertheless). I want to see them both succeed in big ways, because what they bring to the table is worth the risks they’re taking.

  26. Simon Brocklehurst: Great Comment.

    Business executives and past MBA Alumni:
    Please come and join this business case study discussion! We’ll need some help here! We also like some VCs, angel investors and high Networth individuals to participate too.

    Note: Please be constructive on your comments. Don’t throw stones and rocks on unfortunate fellows.

  27. Simon Brocklehurst: Great Comment.

    Business executives and past MBA Alumni:
    Please come and join this business case study discussion! We’ll need some help here! We also like some VCs, angel investors and high Networth individuals to participate too.

    Note: Please be constructive on your comments. Don’t throw stones and rocks on unfortunate fellows.

  28. At the risk of repeating myself, this is either a hot deal for VCs or it isn’t. How can the Zooomr guys tell? Simple: are the top-tier VCs chasing them?

    If the good VCs are chasing them, it’s a hot deal – they should be able to get a financing done. If they’re not, it’s not… And if it’s not, it might be better to not do a financing at this point.

    I know it can be tempting to take money from low-quality investors. But, honestly, if you do that you can (and probably will) end up sealing your fate in way that won’t end well for you (especially if you’re inexperienced).

  29. At the risk of repeating myself, this is either a hot deal for VCs or it isn’t. How can the Zooomr guys tell? Simple: are the top-tier VCs chasing them?

    If the good VCs are chasing them, it’s a hot deal – they should be able to get a financing done. If they’re not, it’s not… And if it’s not, it might be better to not do a financing at this point.

    I know it can be tempting to take money from low-quality investors. But, honestly, if you do that you can (and probably will) end up sealing your fate in way that won’t end well for you (especially if you’re inexperienced).

  30. Kristopher,

    Time to put a business cap on. Think and act like business executive. What is worth sacrifice or worth saving?

    As a Web Builder, if you know you don’t have enough funding to support a big house, how would you alter your building plan to fit your budget, resources for a longer term plan?

    Same theory like constructing a building. You can dream of living in a mansion. You can’t pay for the utility like electricity and water for the entire mansion based on your bank account balance and cash flow. How would you use the most valuable assets with better return without going negative on supporting the overscaled mansion?

  31. Kristopher,

    Time to put a business cap on. Think and act like business executive. What is worth sacrifice or worth saving?

    As a Web Builder, if you know you don’t have enough funding to support a big house, how would you alter your building plan to fit your budget, resources for a longer term plan?

    Same theory like constructing a building. You can dream of living in a mansion. You can’t pay for the utility like electricity and water for the entire mansion based on your bank account balance and cash flow. How would you use the most valuable assets with better return without going negative on supporting the overscaled mansion?

  32. Adam: I think they were pushed by their advisors into releasing so that they could get funding. Funding is NOT as easy to get as we all make it out to be. Especially if you’re a 19-year-old without a real team around you. VC’s shy away from things like this unless they are already up and running. Which is why he felt the pressure to ship without having the right infrastructure. It was like doing a long bomb in football. Chances are it’d fail. But if it succeeds? Touchdown!

  33. Adam: I think they were pushed by their advisors into releasing so that they could get funding. Funding is NOT as easy to get as we all make it out to be. Especially if you’re a 19-year-old without a real team around you. VC’s shy away from things like this unless they are already up and running. Which is why he felt the pressure to ship without having the right infrastructure. It was like doing a long bomb in football. Chances are it’d fail. But if it succeeds? Touchdown!

  34. Think Win Win situation. If losing is not an option, what can you do to turn things around?

    Don’t forget to use Linkedin Answer! Use the free resources. There are many executive-turn bloggers out there may be willing to give non-compensated advice.

    What options do you have? Auction off Zooomr on eBay for quick cash. Sell Zooomr to privately held business or angel investors. How do you evaluate Zooomr assets?

  35. Think Win Win situation. If losing is not an option, what can you do to turn things around?

    Don’t forget to use Linkedin Answer! Use the free resources. There are many executive-turn bloggers out there may be willing to give non-compensated advice.

    What options do you have? Auction off Zooomr on eBay for quick cash. Sell Zooomr to privately held business or angel investors. How do you evaluate Zooomr assets?

  36. Since you know the Zooomr guys personally, what are your thoughts on why they launched so prematurely? In writing the review I couldn’t help but thinking how much more positive I could have been about the service had it a) included many of the release items that are still “coming soon” (API, marketplace, etc.) and b) not been so bogged down with errors and timeouts. Zooomr clearly has some big ambitions – why didn’t they plan ahead for success and go raise some money before such a significant release? They certainly seem to have enough fans in the valley that doing so wouldn’t have been a big challenge for them.

  37. Since you know the Zooomr guys personally, what are your thoughts on why they launched so prematurely? In writing the review I couldn’t help but thinking how much more positive I could have been about the service had it a) included many of the release items that are still “coming soon” (API, marketplace, etc.) and b) not been so bogged down with errors and timeouts. Zooomr clearly has some big ambitions – why didn’t they plan ahead for success and go raise some money before such a significant release? They certainly seem to have enough fans in the valley that doing so wouldn’t have been a big challenge for them.

  38. Robert,

    This is a very good blog post. I am so ready to take Kristopher and Thomas for a warm healthy meal so I can give them some business advice. I have advised many businesses and executives in the past with sticky situations.

    We agree that a business plan with timeline is necessary.

    It would be a big loss if they close Zooomr. Kristopher and Thomas will lose their investment, go into debt, go jobless for a while, and not able to collect any unemployment benefits. This will also affect the chance that VCs will consider them on their next business idea and plan. This is going to be a classical business school case study for business students. What would you do given the situation?

    Would it be wise to contact MBA students from Stanford, UC Berkely and Santa Clara University to brainstorm the possible outcomes?

    It is a case study on e-commerce internet business. Web 2.0 is just a decorative label. Business must be build in solid foundation.

    This is a business analysis. Any one like to join this business discussion?

    I know I know. Many just think that I run a web group and here I discuss business case study.

  39. Robert,

    This is a very good blog post. I am so ready to take Kristopher and Thomas for a warm healthy meal so I can give them some business advice. I have advised many businesses and executives in the past with sticky situations.

    We agree that a business plan with timeline is necessary.

    It would be a big loss if they close Zooomr. Kristopher and Thomas will lose their investment, go into debt, go jobless for a while, and not able to collect any unemployment benefits. This will also affect the chance that VCs will consider them on their next business idea and plan. This is going to be a classical business school case study for business students. What would you do given the situation?

    Would it be wise to contact MBA students from Stanford, UC Berkely and Santa Clara University to brainstorm the possible outcomes?

    It is a case study on e-commerce internet business. Web 2.0 is just a decorative label. Business must be build in solid foundation.

    This is a business analysis. Any one like to join this business discussion?

    I know I know. Many just think that I run a web group and here I discuss business case study.

  40. “We’re so English-centric here in the blogosphere sometimes.”

    So true. One thing I’ve really had my eyes opened toward over the last 2 years is just how many users you shut out if you only release in English. My latest usage stats for Paint.NET show English at about 46%. (shameless plug for my blog goes here)

    I actually talked with one of the Zooomr guys (it’s 3 o’s right?) on IM once because my friend knows him. He has about 10x more business savvy than any of the 19 year olds I went to college with, that’s for sure.

  41. “We’re so English-centric here in the blogosphere sometimes.”

    So true. One thing I’ve really had my eyes opened toward over the last 2 years is just how many users you shut out if you only release in English. My latest usage stats for Paint.NET show English at about 46%. (shameless plug for my blog goes here)

    I actually talked with one of the Zooomr guys (it’s 3 o’s right?) on IM once because my friend knows him. He has about 10x more business savvy than any of the 19 year olds I went to college with, that’s for sure.

Comments are closed.