"Being first doesn’t mean that you win | By mbailey | November 9, 2007
First to market is not always the winner, especially if you burn up all of your resources while trying to figure out where things are heading.
Helge: It's like Apple and Microsoft. Apple was one of the first. Microsoft made the personal computer to a huge business.
When I created and launched MyChingo.com, the online audio commenting system, it was the first of such services that had a zero barrier to entry.
Helge: I take a look.
Click, record, send - it was that simple, and that was April of 2006. Today, MyChingo is used on 4,352 web sites around the world.
Helge: Sounds easy.
MyChingo could do much more, and I receive emails all of the time requesting new features and from people who thank me for making the service.
Helge: How to monetize, maybe?
I’ve spent all my working capital developing the next version of audio and video comments (MobaTalk).
Helge: Turning Web 2.0 ideas and concepts to money...
I have the parts all working fine, and I still have the vision for how things will work together, yet unless I can get my hands on $420,000, 2 programmers, some additional servers and misc. equipment, I won’t be able to roll it out the door.
Helge: The issue of Venture Capital or seed money...
So, in a way, I was first, about a year ahead of the time when people would understand the simplicity and find great uses for my services, but I’m also last, because what I have is a superior video recording system (MP4 right from your web browser) and the best audio recorder (MP3 from your browser, much better than a phone) but I’m not in the market.
Helge: Who did you talk with? Why didn't they get it?
What did happen is that other services such as Utterz.com and Seesmic.com came online, one offering dial-in audio comments and the other for online video recording, but both are at a much reduced quality and they are both stand-alone services.
Helge: I don't know Utterz but I'm familiar with Seesmic. Loic Le Meur is a serial entrepreneur. He has branded himself.
Where did I go wrong?
Well, basically with my focus on both ease of use and quality (which I accomplished) it delayed my time to market.
Helge: I don't think there is a monopoly market. Seesmic and the alike's are entering into something emerging. Nobody knows who is going to win the game. The game hasn't even started. Seesmic is a new thing. They might be well funded? I don't know.
Yeah? So what? Is it a race?
No, not really, but without the capital required to pull things off, one cannot even afford to sit on the sidelines and watch.
Helge: What about the VC's? Did you talk? How about building a team? I ask questions. I don't have a clue about the background and track record. I'm curious.
How can I help?
Ahh, I am so glad you asked!
Here’s what I need….an Angel Investor willing to write me a check for $420,000
Who do you know? have them contact me (page here)
Helge: Ok. I get it.
Why should they invest?
Because I am confident that I can turn this into a 500 million dollar business.
Helge: You've been thinking through the potentials.
Helge: Who could benefit from your invention? Who should listen? How about the big players? You have a product, not just a powerpoint presentation. The next step is scaling, right?