Experimental Lex

Playing with words.

Instant and Implied Social Networks

Powerful words were spoken by Sequoia Capital regarding their investment in Color Labs along with other major investors.

“They told us that every 10 years or so a company and a marketplace and an opportunity come together that’s transformative,” …. “Not since Google have we seen this.”

All told, the series A funding total was $41 million.  The funding was announced in conjunction with the launch of their iPhone app and website at color.com.  (sidebar:  If it looks like a bubble, walks like a bubble and talks like a bubble.com, then it is probably a bubble).

And if you ask around, you will find mostly negative opinions of the app, the website, and the 41-million-fucking-dollars.  Maybe a good question to ask is: Does bubble equal stupid? I think the answer was yes during the first bubble over a decade ago.  This time round, I don’t think this is automatically true.

In the case of Color Labs and Sequoia, there is a rumored rationale at work here.  It was said that the Color app demonstrates the “implied social network”.  By making the assumption that a bunch of people using the same photo-taking and sharing app within close proximity of each other, they should automatically be treated as “friends” or at least the same social network.  The result is a digital photo album based on the aggregated people and photos taken at an event.

So what?  That might seem underwhelming as a first product for a $41MM investment.  Yet, the premise is intriguing.  If you look at the big social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), it feels like there is too much work involved with creating and managing your social profiles.  The beauty in life is randomness … the serendipity that makes you accidental friends with people you meet through interesting circumstances.  Often, that moment lasts for a very short time.  And sometimes, it is a catalyst that extends that moment for a very long time.

Regardless, the beauty in that moment is still there.  I believe there is something important to be explored and discovered here.


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