Startups That Catch Fire Too Soon Risk Early Burnout

Despite raising $41 million prior to launch, the much-hyped mobile/social/photo startup Color hit a wall once they released their app. Why? As Matthew O’Brien of The Atlantic explains, building something that people don’t know they want and then making them want it is a messy process.

Despite raising $41 million prior to launch, the much-hyped mobile/social/photo startup Color hit a wall once they released their app. Why? As Matthew O’Brien of The Atlantic explains, building something that people don’t know they want and then making them want it is a messy process. Instagram evolved from a location-based service called Burbn that never got any traction. Founder Kevin Systrom and his team figured out that Burbn’s photo sharing was the only feature that people wanted, so they went back to the drawing board and, in the seclusion of relative anonymity, created what became a billion-dollar baby. Color, on the other hand, gained so much attention from its successful fundraising that it didn’t have as much wiggle room to iterate, fail, and re-iterate until it got its app right. Fortunately for Color, money can buy time. After pivoting to video-sharing, the Company reached a deal with Verizon, but its future is still in doubt.

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