After $41 million in funding, you better have a good product to show for it. This is the exact problem that the Color application fell short of when the post-hype critiques rushed in. This iPhone and Android application was meant to allow people in close physical proximity to immediately share pictures and videos with anyone else using the app, friends and strangers alike. Color, which was designed by its CEO Bill Nguyen, attracted a lot of initial attention in the media after the big influx of capital, but reports about the product itself were less than enthusiastic.
Prove Its Worth
In any company, the key to creating positive buzz is to ensure that the attention given to the funding is justified when its users turn to the actual product. However, in Color’s case, this was far from the situation. In a recent TechCrunch TV “Fly or Die” review, Erick Schonfeld and John Biggs gave Color a harsh, but accurate, assessment. The biggest critique Color received was that it served no purpose when its user was alone since the application was specifically designed to be used with others in close proximity.
Good PR- It’s a Must!
Aside from working to improve the application, Nguyen would benefit from rethinking his PR strategy. When Schonfeld and Biggs first spoke to Nguyen in their video interview, Nguyen began with an apologetic statement that colored (no pun intended) the rest of the conversation. In response to what the company will do to fix the confusion that surrounded the product’s use, Nguyen replied saying, “To begin with, that was me- I’m the designer so I totally messed up; it’s my fault and I take responsibility for it.” Aside from the fact that his response failed to answer the question, it also clouded the rest of the interview. Following that statement, it was hard to see the rest of the interview in a positive light, a conclusion that could have been easily avoided. In a follow-up video, Schonfeld and Biggs revisited the product to see if they could salvage Color’s reputation from their original critiques, but alas, they concluded that the product was destined for a “Die” review.
Clarity and Uniqueness
Though the external critiques cloud the application’s future, the demonstration on Color’s website doesn’t do much to help. The short video demo fails to give a clear description of the product’s use and doesn’t show any unique uses that are not already covered by photo sharing on Facebook or other social media sites. Perhaps what makes Color unique is that it allows its user to share pictures with complete strangers nearby, however considering how many people choose to use privacy settings for photo sharing on Facebook, Color would do well reconsidering new features, or perhaps a new product altogether.
After the many bleak reviews of the product, Color’s future doesn’t seem to include the rainbow or lucky pot of gold it had hoped for and from Nguyen’s interview, it appears that its designers know that as well.