entrepreneurship, Lessons Learned, startup

On Location Based Services

Painted in Waterlogue

Writing on the Wall: A Business Model Canvas, complete with festively colored Post-Its, Atherton, CA June 2013.

This post has been gather digital dust in private draft form since May 2013. I thought I’d finally publish it to share with anyone interested in location based services.

Preamble

In what now seems like eons ago, I founded a location based tech startup called “Gauss — The People Magnet”. It took me on a roller-coaster ride around the world — from the front page of The New York Times to near personal bankruptcy in the course of about two years. It folded before we got somewhere significant. If you’re interested in the background for founding ‘Gauss — The People Magnet’, there are a couple of old posts for that.

In this post I’m completely cleaning out the closet with my thoughts and experiences related to that startup, including potential revenue sources and business models. It’s a long and winding read — a very mixed bag, assembled from scattered notes.

Caveat Emptor in 2016: If any of this looks familiar or straight forward today, rest assured they weren’t when we started out back in early 2011. To wit: successful monetization of non-dating social discovery apps arguably still hasn’t happened yet.

tl;dr

I know this is a long and bumpy read, so here’s the short version:
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entrepreneurship, Failure, Lessons Learned

Where are we now? A message from the present.

This post is from the present me in response to the recent automated message in a bottle from last year. Thank you for the heartwarming responses, and remember – that message was FROM LAST YEAR. This one is from the present.

Hello world,

I’m doing surprisingly well.

Today is July 2014, and I find myself at the end of my regular free open office hours at Startplatz in Cologne, reflecting on what happened in the year since I wrote a message to my future self from Silicon Valley.

Today, I should be happy.  And grateful.

Yes. One year later and still here.

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entrepreneurship, Failure, Lessons Learned, Little Known Fact

Where do we go from here? A message in a bottle.

This is a message to my future self. I’ve set this post to automatically publish one year from now in the hope it will find us both in better times.

Hello world,

I’m not doing so well.

Today is June 19th 2013 and I’m sitting poolside in a fancy neighborhood in Atherton, Silicon Valley. It’s 7am and I’m about to pedal down to Stanford University for another day of lectures with Steve Blank and Jerry Engel.

I should be happy. And in some ways I am.

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This is where I’m staying: The Blackbox Mansion in Atherton, Silicon Valley. I’m writing this from the table center left.

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