Things didn’t look good for Bill Nguyen’s latest startup, Color. They announced their funding on March 23rd of last year and by the next day there were bloggers and tech journalists all asking pretty much the same question: “How does an iPhone photo-sharing app land that kind of money before showing that they have something special?”
When a satirical pitch deck emerges making fun of your app and more specifically the people who invested in it, things are bound to get ugly.
It’s been a year since the launch. Did the app prove to be successful? Did they prove the silly naysayers wrong? Are they on the road to a major buyout by Apple or Google or Facebook or anybody?
No. Instead, they made one of those infamous “pivots” three months ago away from the dream of creating a virtual picture-based virtual world into this:
Is that exciting? Is that worth $40.5 million? Are people hopping on board?
Again, the answer is no.
The source of their criticism is the only thing that gives them hope. By raising so much money early on, they aren’t at the point of living off ramen noodles and coding on Tandy computers. They have time. It’s not a ton, but they have the luxury of being able to pivot, to change, and to adjust until they strike gold.
If they don’t do it in 2012, they may go down as one of the worst tech investments this side of the dot com bubble burst.