Happy Links

August 21, 2006

Kiko Demise Edition (because this is brutally instructive):
Quick summary. Kiko is an online calendar application, and a darn fine one at that. It was funded by Paul Graham's Y Combinator. Only something happened along the way, and now it's for sale up on eBay, bids start at $50K.

The horse's mouth:

  • Paul Graham - Funder.
    Says Google Calendar killed them.
    "Google may be even more dangerous than Microsoft, because unlike Microsoft it's the favorite of technically minded users... The best solution for most startup founders would probably be to stay out of Google's way."
  • Richard White - member of the Kiko team (UI designer).
    Says Google Calendar didn't kill them, they killed themselves by (a) getting distracted, (b) releasing a sub-par product too soon, (c) having too many features, (d) no plan to escape the "technospehere" i.e. you (and me).
    This is a great read.
  • Justin Kan - member of the Kiko team (founder/programmer)
    Says it's demise stemmed from (a) getting distracted, (b) Hiring wrong, (c) "cute hacks" "Take the time to do things right from the beginning" (d) Working from home, (e) Not getting investors involved, (f) trying to do it all at once.
    Ouch. Fantastic lessons.

The Peanut Gallery:

  • Dharmesh Shah - Blogger at OnStartups "Google is the new Microsoft"
  • Stowe Boyd - Web 2.0 dude extraordinaire. Says they didn't release too early, they released "with too little of the social dimension in place."
  • David Heinemeier Hansson - of 37signals, creator of Ruby on Rails. "Google does not win by default in any territory it enters."
  • Don Dodge - of Microsoft's Emerging Business Team. "Calendars are a feature, not a company."

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By the comments of Kiko Members they weren't all on the same page. Maybe if the funder had listened to the other members they wouldn't be selling on eBay.

Posted by: Richelle-PowersellerKing | Aug 21, 2006 10:33:11 AM

I read Graham's comments and want to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick. Equal parts whiny, clueless, and huffy.

Dude, just because YOUR startup didn't work doesn't mean that we should all pull up stakes and go home.

(By the way, great blog!)

Posted by: Jake | Aug 21, 2006 9:11:38 PM

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