iYomu is now dead and buried – the decision has been made to pull the plug on the site tomorrow. I’ve already posted a little about this but I thought it apt to quote from iYomu founder David Wolf-Rooney – not in order to add salt to his wounds but rather to show just how wrong people can be…

For almost one year iYomu seemed to make the world a smaller place where 100,000 people came together and found a common space where grown-ups could meet, greet, debate and share interests. Yet it is not only people who rule the world, but money does too. We tried, we thrived and then we died

Actually David, if iYomu had been even moderately successful the money would have come – iYomu failed because it was a me-too offering with no real degree of differentiation. Sure you got 100,000 people signing up – but without the $1mill prize (more on that later) I reckon it would have been more like 100. Of those 100k, how many regularly visited? Bugger all I’d bet.

We tried to compete with sites in the US, but without access to the sort of funding they have, it was just impossible. We needed millions to really promote and expand the site, money we just didn’t have

Bollocks…. It’s not about funding, it’s about eyeballs, you didn’t have anything even remotely sticky to gain and retain those eyeballs – so yes its about money but if your product had worked the money would have come.

It really did impact on people’s lives in a positive way.

For Chrissakes man – it’s a social networking site (and an abysmal one at that) not a cure for cancer. I challenge you to identify in any way how you changed people’s lives in a positive way. (Apart of course from the dude that you paid out in lieu of the $1mill prize he was meant to get).

Right – that’s the Friday rant for now….

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

5 Comments
  • I don’t know – maybe I’m getting sentimental in my old age, or maybe I’m just tired after a long week at work, but I can’t help but feel just a little bit sorry for the iYomu crowd.

    That this business (it wasn’t just David driving the show) failed so spectacularly makes me feel quite sympathetic to those involved. This was an excellent case study of not doing your homework first and completely mis-reading your market. No one likes to see a home-grown business fail and even though I would be right up there with the rest of the crowd asking “what the hell were you guys thinking???”, I would still like to think that some good can come of it.

    Hopefully other starry-eyed business folk with a vague understanding of this inter-web thingy will look at iYomu and recognise the sorts of monumental mistakes that they made. Maybe the failure of one business can serve as a compass for others. Let’s hope so, anyway.

  • It can be debated forever, but the simple reason was that the site was slow, sloppy and shite. Filling out long forms to join – bad. Wasting $1m to attract bottom-dweller users only interested in money – bad. Trying to compete with all sorts of services at once (vault – online storage, facebook etc) – bad. Designing it like a dog – bad. Not using the money to employ people who know how to design a good site and keep it fast – bad. And lastly – choosing a ridiculous name that has no flare or meaning – bad.

    It’s not that the concept was bad, just overly ambitious from people who didn’t know what they were getting themselves into and then they act surprised when it crashes and burns. Saw this coming the minute I saw the first press release.

  • @Phil – from my understanding it was David, some outsourced developers and a bunch of fat cat investors who wouldn’t know the interweb if they fell over it. Sorry but I ain’t got a whole lot of sympathy….

  • Falafulu Fisi |

    If fact David Wolf-Rooney is wrong when he stated that …people came together and found a common space where grown-ups could meet, greet, debate and share interests.

    I bet he meant to say this:

    …people came together and found a common space where suckers/naives/vain could meet, greet, debate and share interests.

  • Businesses with a bad model fail.
    Businesses with a good model implemented badly fail.
    Businesses with a stupid idea fail.
    Businesses that have to give away 1 million dollars because they have no revenue producing traffic fail.
    ‘Me too’ businesses can both fail and succeed.

    R.I.P iYomu

    Love, Julian – http://www.julian101.com

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