In startup success blogs don't matter, paradigm shifts do

What’s the most successful new company out there of the past two years?

I’d argue it’s iLike, a music sharing and discovery service that came out on Facebook first, but has moved other places.

When I quit Microsoft they had no users.

Today they have 30 million.

How did THAT happen? It wasn’t because they got bloggers all hot and bothered about them. They didn’t win any contests. I don’t even think they showed up at Demo or TechCrunch or other industry conferences. If they did, they didn’t cause any headlines on blogs about how they were going to be THE next hot thing.

What did they do? They were first out the gate on Facebook’s application platform. That was a real paradigm shift. It was the first application platform I remember where I could see the apps YOU had loaded.

Second datapoint?

Yesterday I ran into the founders of Posimotion. Their company didn’t exist a few months ago, but today they are seeing 50,000 downloads a day of their iPhone apps. I don’t remember THEM being talked about anywhere, or on any famous tech blogs, but they are kicking but and well on their way to being a dominant software firm. How did they do it?

They were first out of the gate on the iPhone.

By the way, talking about the iPhone, Posimotion has some awesome iPhone apps.

Almost all of their apps are NOT free ones, so you can guess how much revenue per day is flowing into this very small company (which isn’t venture funded, by the way). Here’s my favorites from their 12 apps:

A level is a leveler which uses the iPhone to level picture frames and stuff like that. It’s a very cool use of the iPhone’s accelerometer.

Ever forget where you parked your car? If you used G Park you’d never forget again (it uses the GPS to memorize where you parked).

Golf Flyover is for golfers who want to know where to play golf and it uses the GPS in the iPhone to tell them information about the courses they are playing.

Pool is a fun game and well done using iPhone’s touch surface.

Well, since I’m irrelevant, I think I’ll take the rest of the day off! Heheheh.

Comments

  1. Ilike has like 2m users a month, they don’t have 30m, look at web traffic liek comscore, compete, nielsen…c’mon.

  2. Ilike has like 2m users a month, they don’t have 30m, look at web traffic liek comscore, compete, nielsen…c’mon.

  3. iLike – that leachy thing that stuck on the side of my iTunes like a limpit? The fact that it was all automatic was a plus, but I still haven’t used it more than 3 times at the beginning of my 2 year “usership.” I wish them well but its just plain ridiculous to equate my “iLike usership” with say my “Gmail usership” in coming up with a valuation.

  4. iLike – that leachy thing that stuck on the side of my iTunes like a limpit? The fact that it was all automatic was a plus, but I still haven’t used it more than 3 times at the beginning of my 2 year “usership.” I wish them well but its just plain ridiculous to equate my “iLike usership” with say my “Gmail usership” in coming up with a valuation.

  5. OMG. I think I may actually want to get an iPhone. I can level my pictures with it? That is so cute. It will be way more fun than that long level thingie I was going to buy at the hardware store.

    Seriously – I am completely awestruck by the originality & creativity of the person who thought to make that an app for a cell phone.

  6. OMG. I think I may actually want to get an iPhone. I can level my pictures with it? That is so cute. It will be way more fun than that long level thingie I was going to buy at the hardware store.

    Seriously – I am completely awestruck by the originality & creativity of the person who thought to make that an app for a cell phone.

  7. Only because you claim to be connected – when it fits your posting….

    (1)
    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/samplecode/BubbleLevel/index.html

    Bubble Level. Apple SAMPLE CODE that does exactly the same thing. You’d have known this back in Mach if you actually talked with any coders. That’s $0.99 saved by simply using Apple’s sample code.

    (2)
    http://projects.gandreas.com/15puzzle/
    http://www.antherion.com/slider

    The first link is to something FREE that does the same the $2.99 “Shake’n’break”. The second link – which by your standards “sucks” because it’s under construction – is for a $1.99 version that has levels, parses any photo you wish, and has scoring.

    So, that’s another 2-3 dollars saved.

    (3) Golf-flyover.

    My God. $14.99 for something that does what dozens of apps do? Robert, this one surely shows your laziness.

    Look, you took the time to click through 72 links and claim how badly they sucked. Why not take the time to find the right apps that don’t simply hype?

    This posting was lazily written. I know you wanted to do something positive – maybe even constructive – but this wasn’t it. A cursory glance would have told you that these are apps that – while good – are not close to cream of the crop.

    Sigh. I cannot believe the first app you listed was based on sample code. Damn.

  8. Only because you claim to be connected – when it fits your posting….

    (1)
    http://developer.apple.com/iphone/library/samplecode/BubbleLevel/index.html

    Bubble Level. Apple SAMPLE CODE that does exactly the same thing. You’d have known this back in Mach if you actually talked with any coders. That’s $0.99 saved by simply using Apple’s sample code.

    (2)
    http://projects.gandreas.com/15puzzle/
    http://www.antherion.com/slider

    The first link is to something FREE that does the same the $2.99 “Shake’n’break”. The second link – which by your standards “sucks” because it’s under construction – is for a $1.99 version that has levels, parses any photo you wish, and has scoring.

    So, that’s another 2-3 dollars saved.

    (3) Golf-flyover.

    My God. $14.99 for something that does what dozens of apps do? Robert, this one surely shows your laziness.

    Look, you took the time to click through 72 links and claim how badly they sucked. Why not take the time to find the right apps that don’t simply hype?

    This posting was lazily written. I know you wanted to do something positive – maybe even constructive – but this wasn’t it. A cursory glance would have told you that these are apps that – while good – are not close to cream of the crop.

    Sigh. I cannot believe the first app you listed was based on sample code. Damn.

  9. No, it isn’t all about being first. Google wasn’t first, Microsoft wasn’t first, YouTube wasn’t first, Apples iPod wasn’t first. It’s all about having the right product in the right moment. Tricky.

  10. No, it isn’t all about being first. Google wasn’t first, Microsoft wasn’t first, YouTube wasn’t first, Apples iPod wasn’t first. It’s all about having the right product in the right moment. Tricky.

  11. I think what you are talking about is “first to market” talked about with Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book “the 22 immutable Laws of Marketing.” With so many things changing and upgrading it doesn’t take much to take the wayne gretzky approach of meeting the puck and not following it.

    I know that some have spoke of price but price is never an issue when you are first to market. That’s apple’s deal. They are way expensive but they were the first to make those who didn’t have any production of graphic experience to feel like they actually did. So much so that I have seen customers walk into the apple store with an attitude showing off their broke computers.

  12. I think what you are talking about is “first to market” talked about with Al Ries and Jack Trout in their book “the 22 immutable Laws of Marketing.” With so many things changing and upgrading it doesn’t take much to take the wayne gretzky approach of meeting the puck and not following it.

    I know that some have spoke of price but price is never an issue when you are first to market. That’s apple’s deal. They are way expensive but they were the first to make those who didn’t have any production of graphic experience to feel like they actually did. So much so that I have seen customers walk into the apple store with an attitude showing off their broke computers.

  13. Jan, Microsoft wasn’t first? Really. DOS wasn’t first out of the gate to support IBM’s new PC? Uh, huh. Google you are right about. Google actually is one of those examples that could be used to invalidate this whole post, because who Google excited first was the influencers and early adopters.

  14. Jan, Microsoft wasn’t first? Really. DOS wasn’t first out of the gate to support IBM’s new PC? Uh, huh. Google you are right about. Google actually is one of those examples that could be used to invalidate this whole post, because who Google excited first was the influencers and early adopters.

  15. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the user curve, you will get a negative revenue at this point, only funded to build audience. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what everyone called this in 2001? Anyone? Something-e-y-e economics. “Eyeball” economics.

  16. Anyone know what this is? Class? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone seen this before? Anyone know what this says? It says that at this point on the user curve, you will get a negative revenue at this point, only funded to build audience. This is very controversial. Does anyone know what everyone called this in 2001? Anyone? Something-e-y-e economics. “Eyeball” economics.

  17. Robert,

    Read the reviews on the G-Park in the app store. They all say the app sucks. Its a great idea but GPS o the iPhone does not work in most mall garages. this is the only app I have used. but based on the reviews on iTunes all their apps suck big time. . Please don’t promote such companies.

  18. Robert,

    Read the reviews on the G-Park in the app store. They all say the app sucks. Its a great idea but GPS o the iPhone does not work in most mall garages. this is the only app I have used. but based on the reviews on iTunes all their apps suck big time. . Please don’t promote such companies.

  19. dont be fooled by their stats. most of my friends have installed the iLike app, NONE of them use it. Are you getting paid to say things like “iLike is the most successful company out there”? Or do you simply want to polarise. And could you please define better what exactly you compare. The most successful? What do you mean by that? The highest growth in usage? Revenue? And what does “out there” stand for? Out there in your microcosmo of companies that FastCompany decides are worth giving a push? You may not be irrelevent to the industry, but this post sure was.

  20. dont be fooled by their stats. most of my friends have installed the iLike app, NONE of them use it. Are you getting paid to say things like “iLike is the most successful company out there”? Or do you simply want to polarise. And could you please define better what exactly you compare. The most successful? What do you mean by that? The highest growth in usage? Revenue? And what does “out there” stand for? Out there in your microcosmo of companies that FastCompany decides are worth giving a push? You may not be irrelevent to the industry, but this post sure was.