June 21, 2011
Photo apps are released to the App Store weekly. Yet, few arrive with as much fanfare as did Color earlier this year. But, this isn’t a story with a happy ending. Rather, it shows that even an app lined with $41 million in funding isn’t necessarily a success, especially when its would-be customers have no idea how to use it. Launched in March, Color promised location-based photo sharing, but with a twist. However, despite some updates, the app was still misunderstood by most users and hence didn't live up to the hype. Color came on the scene with a unique promise: As one takes a photo, the app figures out who else is taking photos within 150 feet of you with the same app. From there, Color magically creates a photo hodgepodge using snapshots from friends and strangers. These photos could then be shared with others. Almost from the beginning, however, users complained Color came with minimal instructions. And, because it only worked when others were around you were also taking photos, the end result was difficult to see. Still, Color remains in the App Store. And to the best of our knowledge, its creators have no plans to kill it off, even though its president was recently fired. Unfortunately, the damage could already be done. According to Gawker, the “extremely-hyped startup” failed to live up to “extreme hype.” They state:
The few users who didn't abandon Color the day after its disastrous, confusing launch still don't really understand what it does. Color's president has been fired and engineers are scrambling in their spacious Palo Alto office, complete with "beanbag chairs, tents for napping and a hand-built half-pipe skateboard ramp," according to the New York Times.On this, we agree. While the app had promise, its approach was confusing at best; at worse, it wasn’t worth the time. Assuming the folks behind Color haven’t yet blown through their $41 million nest egg, we’d suggest they cut their losses and start over. To do so, they should throw away the Color name (and the $350,000 Color.com website) and move on. What do you think? Leave your comments below.