ShuffleChat – A Post-Mortem

Entrepreneurship, Personal No Comments »

Intro

I didn’t write a post summarizing everything that happened to my last startup, LinkLarry, but after reading YouCastr’s post-mortem I thought it made sense to review my experience with ShuffleChat. After all, I did start this blog to share my experience and thoughts entrepreneurship.

Overview

I started ShuffleChat with my college roommate at the start of the new year. It was our first night of spring semester when he showed me a new website he discovered over the winter break where you video chat with strangers. He was excited about all the fun people were having. You could do anything on Chatroulette.com…

After playing around for a couple hours we saw the massive potential and decided to create our own version with many ideas for improvements. I’m an Internet marketer and minor programmer and my roommate is sales & marketing guy; so we had some complementary skills where I’d focus on the tech and he’d focus on the marketing and future sales. Even at this early point, we both predicted random video chat would take off, and of course a couple months later it reached a tipping point, receiving major press such as NYTimesCNNWashingtonPost. This was the peak of the random video chat fad…

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Relevant People

Entrepreneurship, Personal, Technology No Comments »

In my summary post on the TechCrunch Disrupt event I mentioned my startup has been changing quite a bit recently. This is why I haven’t been posting much lately; I’ve been spending most of my time figuring out the best application to focus on.

I went to TechCrunch Disrupt pitching an idea that was tangent to a core aspect of my video chatting startup. One of the things I really want to accomplish through ShuffleChat is connecting RELEVANT people from all around the world to video chat based on very specific and advanced criteria. Essentially I want to create an automated social networking platform that is video-chat-centric.

However, there are major barriers to accomplishing this dream, such as the extremely technical matching system/algorithm. It will also require exponentially more users than random video chatting websites- all of which already have major difficulties obtaining enough users to make a useful service.

A new application: I’ve always felt that networking at large business/industry events has been very inefficient. You can only talk to so many people in a limited amount of time and theres very little indication of who is relevant. Yet we have these smart phones that can/should be able to communicate with each other wirelessly to alert people when there is someone relevant nearby.

So I want to introduce: Relevant2.Me – A concept for a new platform that will understand everything about you as a person and help you find and connect with other people you really need to meet.

For example, you could use the service to find friends, co-founders, business deals, mentors, artists, and other synergistic people/connections.

As you can guess, I’ve always been interested in the concept of context and relevance. My previous startup focused on crowd-sourcing relevant links for blog posts. Now I’m applying the concept to something I feel is more important: People.

I understand and appreciate how the web has enabled people to connect in more ways than ever before, but I still think we can provide tools such as Relevant2.Me to nudge people in establishing productive connections and relationships.

I know I can’t make this happen all by myself, so I’m looking for help. If you’re interested in Relevant2.Me, please contact me. Also feel free to post any comments, suggestions, and or critiques on the concept below.

Lastly, check back to my blog later for updates on my other side projects. I will also be posting interesting business ideas I’ve been accumulating but decided I don’t have the time, resources, or passion to execute. [tweetmeme]

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ColinWinter