I changed my opinion after seeing this Interview with Color’s CEO, Bill Nguyen

March 30, 2011 in Startups

I think it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of This Week in Startups. In this latest episode (no 128) Jason Calacanis interviews Color‘s founder, Bill Nguyen.

Color has obviously had a lot of attention because of it’s enormous pre-launch raise and the low quality of it’s initial application. The interview addresses these issues and gives you a little glimpse into the way Bill sees things.

There are a few things that made me think:

  1. Bill calls himself a social recluse. Some people would probably call that being an introvert. What’s interesting about that is that Color is actually a social network and yet people generally say that entrepreneurs should work on problems they themselves have – so you’re your own customer in a sense. That might actually make Color even more interesting because it’s a social network for people who don’t generally like human interactions. How weird would that be?
  2. He also doesn’t like conferences – I can understand why and it’s refreshing to see somebody successful sharing this view. I’ve been thinking that I’m a freak and that I’ll never have any success since I don’t like social gatherings a whole lot. I guess there is hope.
  3. This point about you not really having any authentication or identification in the application is pretty interesting. Also the parts he mentioned about the network gets protected from misuse in the same way that society protects itself – because the network is the people who are physically close to you. It’s interesting. It certainly makes you think…
    Edit: Well, then there are issues like this one.

The interview:


After watching the interview I had what you could probably describe as an epiphany: Proximity and general “localness” are topics that really we have only yet scratched the surface of. Seeing this refreshing view of what a social network like this could look like, really opens up the door to all kinds of possibilities.

Now when I look at Foursquare I can’t help but think that it’s in some way outdated. Old-fashioned almost. They’ll probably have to move very quickly now to keep being relevant.

The future is exciting. It will be fun to see what happens in this space in the coming months.

  • http://www.yitz.com yitz

    i had this same epiphany when i saw the ‘waze’ app in action .. it’s a geolocal social network for people on the move (with built-in free gps) .. that way you can chat with people who are on the road with you, even if you have no idea who they are and you never actually meet them.. i discovered the app while stuck in a 2hr traffic jam and the updates from everyone else sitting in the same jam were awesome .. and exciting and transformed the experience of being stuck in traffic to a social experience. very cool.

    • http://arnorhs.com/ arnorhs

      wow, that’s interesting. It also makes you wonder about the different uses for an “implied” social network such as Color, besides just sharing photos.

  • http://www.escape.is Arnþór Snær

    I don’t know if Color will be successful or not. The app however has a fresh approach to locality and social networking which was refreshing to experience.

    I reckon I’ll be checking out Color once in a while, just to see the if there is any impromptu digital photographic history lying around in my vicinity.

    • http://arnorhs.com/ arnorhs

      Yes, I’ve been randomly using it here and there.. it seems like there aren’t a whole lot of users in Iceland.. Surprise surprise ;-)

  • http://www.randomwire.com/ David

    Great interview but Color reminds me of Google Wave: awesome technology which few actually understand how to use or why they need it. Perhaps once they’ve improved the UI it’ll become clearer but it’ll take a lot of convincing to get early adopters to give it a second chance…

    • http://arnorhs.com/ arnorhs

      Yes, good point. Wave was very much like that. But at least Wave had a somewhat better UI – just not a very clear use case.

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