Monday, April 16, 2012

Instagram: World Domination by Facebook

Instagram then eh. Great app - been using it for some time, simple, neat and a joy to use. But ONE BILLION DOLLARS - blimey.

I've read a lot of analysis of its worth but the fact of the matter is Facebook's main reason for buying it is because they can. It's all down to Facebook's own massive valuation of 100 billion that makes Instagram worth so much.

I read this the other day on Twitter - don't know how accurate it is but it is quite an eye opener

Instagram 13 employees, 18mnths old, $1bn valuation
Kodak 17,000 employees, 131yrs old, chapter 11

Wow - I know its a bit false to compare such different businesses but it is an amazing stat.

Lets face it, Facebook could snap up a lot of other great apps like Tumblr, Foursquare, Instapaper - in fact anything beginning with Insta - and still have loose change from a fraction of their IPO and future profits. Are we now in a period of tech history where Facebook will begin to take over the world. 

So everyone - start thinking now for that next billion dollar idea. Heres my prediction of whats going to happen in the next few year

(and read the $1bn as did Dr Evil in Austin Powers saying the ransom)

Instapoo - the new app that becomes an instant craze as people photo and share pictures of dog poo around the capital together with full poo location GPS. Just 6 months after launch Facebook acquire for ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

WikiPeek - People take pictures of random people on the street and post them to Wikipeak. It is then your job to browse the pictures and find random pictures of yourself or friends based on where you have been that day. Hours of fun as this craze takes off. Facebook acquire for ONE BILLION DOLLARS and instantly shut it down.

AcneFace - you take someones picture and it morphs acne onto your face and makes you look like a 16 year old teenager. On day one of launch it has 10 million downloads and on day two Facebook buys for ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

WalkorStalk - Put yourself forward as a Walker or a Stalker. Then match up with someone at a certain time and place where the stalker can follow the walker for hours. Geo location enabled and it doesn't take off - however that doesn't stop Facebook acquiring it for ONE BILLION DOLLARS.

MugJournal - this massive new social network site gets shut down by Facebook as overnight it sends Cease or Desist actions to two a and a half million sites that have the word Face or a derivative of (e.g. Mug) or have the word Book or derivative of (e.g.. Journal) Overnight Facebook accounts for 65% of all internet traffic.

FriendSwap - allows you to discard friends you no longer want and allows you to swap them with people who don't have many friends. Facebook acquires for ONE BILLION DOLLARS and then sets a maximum number of friends limit of 250.

Thats not all - 

Facebook turnover becomes greater than the US GDP at 15 Trillion. As a result of this and lobbying, the next presidential election is voted on by the largest number of Likes against each candidate. Mark Zuckerberg becomes President.

[Note to self - must stop writing a load of rubbish whenever stuck at home with sick children]


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Peanuts Reunited

Over the past 6 years, even though for a large part of it I wasn't allowed to do any internet businesses, my brain has been full of ideas. Sometimes you get into a groove and you can't stop thinking about them (like now - up at 2am with jetlag)

And of course others have ideas and in pubs and other socials, people love to tell people their latest killer app that is going to take the world by storm (unless of course they want you to sign an NDA - see previous post)

Now FriendsReunited - the core idea behind the site - was not actually my idea. It was Julie's. I've never pretending anything different. Before FR nearly all my ideas I told mates in pubs were just laughed at or told "that will never work". However, just by association I noticed after we sold out that something odd started to happen when I told people my latest internet sensation. 

Everyone seemed to think every idea I had was brilliant.

Now of course they could all just be being polite to me. However, I started to wonder whether just because of one success, people (particularly those who just met me) thought everything I did turned to gold. Lets face it - most of my ideas are actually pants and the vast majority are never going to see the light of day - like most peoples.

So, a few years ago I decided to create a placebo idea. 

Peanuts Reunited. 

Ridiculous even before you hear what the idea is. Here's what a press release would say if it was real (please read in a Moss from the IT crowd voice)

"I was sitting in a pub one evening waiting for for a friend with a pint and a packet of peanuts. Some nuts fell out onto the table and I randomly picked up two split nuts. I placed them together and got a perfect match. It was a great feeling and suddenly Peanuts Reunited was born - a site where you reunite 2 nuts together. Simply take a picture of one half of the nut and the site uses bespoke imaging software to create a 3D image of the nut. Then log the details of the peanut and wait. The software then matches the half peanut with someone else's nut and informs you of the reunion. At that point perhaps a meet up to reunite the halves together and blah blah blah blah....."

You get the idea. 

So now and again I used to announce Ive had another great idea, describe away the concept behind PeanutsReunited in a really excited way and wait. There used to be a tumbleweed moment for a few seconds and blank faces before I would then burst out laughing and exclaim it was only a joke (yes its a fun night to be had going out with me)

However, after a few times of doing this, someone in a group of people, before I could announce the joke, actually shouted out "That is just a brilliant idea". I am not going to say who it was as its just too embarrassing. 

Anyway, it was enough to prove my point and finally realise that all my ideas were actually probably shit.

[However if anyone goes and does it I'll sue you]

[Please sign the NDA below]