I first shared this blog post as my Facebook status. For more frequent updates, you can follow me on Facebook.
This is the news I haven’t particularly looked forward to sharing…
I’m no longer working on my startup, Giveit100/Waffle. And starting today, I’m looking for my next design gig. If you know a SF startup in need of a jack-of-all-trades designer, hit me up.
So… what happened? I resigned, I left, I quit – whatever way you put it. But really, I gave up. To all our users and to everyone who believed in us and helped us along the way – Thank you. I’m sorry I let you down.
Giveit100 will still remain running. People can still use it. Eventually, when we can no longer justify paying server costs, we’ll move it over to Instagram. We’ll give plenty of notice for people to download their videos before that happens.
For the better part of a year, my co-founder Finbarr and I tried to make Giveit100 work as a business. We couldn’t – not without turning it into the kind of business neither of us wanted to work at (a B2B sales-driven marketing agency). We got users – lots of users – and lost them almost as fast. Sure, we were masters of getting press, but we hadn’t built a product that could keep people around.
For a few months I had this sinking feeling that Giveit100 couldn’t work as a startup. If you saw me at that time you probably remember I was extremely stressed. It’s not fun to realize that your grandiose dreams that you maniacally believed in – aren’t going to work. Successful startups, the ones who make it – all make life easier in some way. Giveit100 wasn’t making life easier – it was instead capturing a very difficult behavior. It was more a social movement, a mass art project. If we’re measuring success by lives affected positively, I think we did pretty well. But as a startup, it failed.
So we pivoted to Waffle. After a few weeks the novelty wore off, and I realized I wasn’t excited about photo messaging. I didn’t think Waffle was fulfilling.
So I failed to find something that could satisfy both conditions: 1) I was obsessively passionate about it and 2) we could turn it into a business. Finbarr’s much better at prioritizing #2, and he’s continuing on with the company. And I’ve found #1, or rather have known it all along but I’d put it aside to work on Giveit100 at the time.
#1 is an unreleased dance project. I’m estimating it will take me about 2 years of practice for it to be ready. Working as a designer again, instead of as a founder, will let me dance more. Pretty freaking excited about that.