July 11, 2005
"We're not Flickr"
[UPDATE: Mygdal responds in the comments. Well, sort of anyway - he's mostly just angry about being asked it seems]
In "Other upstarts": I would personally like an explanation from Mr. Bootstrapping on why 23 isn't like Flickr at all... Not acknowledging that there's already an (on the face of it) identical wildly popular platform for photosharing seems disingenious to me. Everybody knows the score.
[Preliminary testing suggests an answer along the lines of "We're more web 2.0 applicationlike. And we want to make it big in China"]
Also, since the official upstart number is 43 I think a better name would have been "20below" - possibly with a tag line along the lines of "Cool photo sharing" (oh, wait that's already gone)
Posted by Claus at July 11, 2005 03:59 PM
What an uninformed blogosphere echochamber question, seriously ;). Don't know if your observations are based on actual use of the service or just a quick glance.
A couple of points to get you out of the echo chamber.
1. There are thousands of photo sharing services sharing the basic functionality that flickr has. some of them originating from as far back as 1998, some of them in weird local languages you and i wouldn't know about. but most importantly they have hundreds of millions of users - making flickr with about 500,000 users seem like a drop in a very big ocean. So why didn't you say Webshots, Kodak Gallery, Shutterfly, Snapfish - just to name some of the largest us based services - echo chamber?
2. Open Data as in Open Source. It's a sad thing that a new service offering individuals freedom, more competition, innovation, etc. is greated with this response. Is it because we're stuck in data silos - where's the open data movement. personally the concept of "flickr tags" and "technorati tags" annoys me - especially in the context of london bombings, etc. This is the photo commons - and the trend in the blogosphere with the flickr fascination is centralization, centralization and centralization. If open data standards existed the collective value would be in the commons - not on one photo sharing site.
3. The marines values. We're leaving people behind - everyday. Another photo sharing service is notorious for the tagline of "not your grand fathers photo sharing site". Every year in just western societies 10% of the population are buying digital camera's. We're leaving a lot of people behind - trying to push them into the very social photo sharing of textamerica, buzznet, flickr, etc. or the photo print goals of the establishment. We're leaving millions of people behind every day - dad's, mom's, grand fathers and mothers, aunts, etc. - and not just people who wants to do moblog style public photo sharing.
There's probably also a couple of issues of a more international attitude, a totally different target audience - and ultimately who would know - perhaps a better product?
We're all ready doing a lot of things differently than flickr and the 1,000's of other photo sharing services - we're doing things that no one has done before - the field is wide and open for innovation - we have tons of social sharing issues that no photo sharing service is providing solutions for yet on our to do list.
The rabbit hole is much deeper - i could go on and on. But instead let me offer you a cup of coffee and a private demo of actual use of the service.
Give me a break Thomas
Maybe you could tone down the mission statement and stop assuming about casual onlookers that they are mindless followers, sheep to the slaughter.
Get a grip.
Pretending "What are you doing differently" is not a good question is ridiculous and pretending that Flickr isn't the current leader in mindshare and fotosharing innovation is as well. A lot of the features you're doing DO originate with Flickr.
How about a concrete answer instead of your mission statement. Why are the current services leaving anyone behind and how are you different.
from you point-of-view if you have a company like Vodafone with a monopoly (because everyone's using it) then nobody should try and do something similar in concept to compete with the air carrier. Can you imagine what would have happened if that's was the case?
Remember that Google was just an altavista clone when is started.
The world is bigger than one might think. Opportunities are out there for the ones that see that.
Obviously I don't think that. I didn't say that, and didn't think it. It's just that Thomas completely misunderstood my question.
As Thomas points out there's already a dearth of photosharing sites out there, so Thomas' monopoly breaking crusade is unconvincing. 23 isn't exactly breaking any monopolies.
What I DO expect from an upstart in such a crowded space is a clear answer on how they plan to get in and grab some attention.
Since it seems 23 people are conscioucly implementing a lot of features people have come to expect due to Flick it's reasonable to ask if they are doing anythin above and beyond what people expect because of Flickr.
I am asking a question about differentiation in a crowded market place, not suggesting monopoly is a good thing.
(Not that you're one - but followers of this blog will know that I like competitive open cultures. References here
Sidenote, Andr?: I see from your own blog (http://blog.delaranja.com/?p=369) that you agree that "apparently there?s no real innovation."
I think that makes questions quite legitimate.
I do point out that "apparently there's no real innovation". But in the end I come to the conclusion that "in the end being mobile-oriented 23people position themselves uniquely and I think they're 'getting' the market by letting users play with photos the way they want." This 2 things together are probably going to make it different in the long run. Besides that, 23 has started to give away 1Gb which a "action call" for many people and they provided people with default email for you to send pictures.
In the end sometimes it's not about what you're making but how you're presenting it to the people. Think Beta and VHS.
And if what you wanted was to ask "a question about differentiation in a crowded market place" that's probably where you should have started you first post. Not accusing but asking.
And of course Flickr is not a monopoly. Fortunatly the Web is not about monopolies! :)
I am not aware that I have accused anyone of anything.
At best I can accept that I might have written
"Personally I would love..." instead of
"I would personally like" - but that's certainly within the realm of semantics.
And by the way, the answer you just gave to the question would have been a perfectly valid reply from Thomas...