I’ve had 20 years experience in IT as an investor, and would like to share with you few key points on a startup called Minute of Life. In our century, there are a lot of startups trying to make themselves and other people sure about their uniquness, necessity, and ability to solve all kinds of problems.
While they do this, they are trying to show everybody that their startup is more flexible, faster, more productive, better developed, and has a million more features than anybody else around. Of course technology needs to be beneficial. This has been repeated so often people have forgotten that it’s obvious. But the speed is making us worse at thinking about all kinds of things.
And when we stop thinking about things, what happens? The things we make suffer. Look at history. People used to create smoke signals and talk to each other with camp fires. Foot messengers. Carrier pigeons.
What has replaced all of this? Instant messaging for the most part. Instant messaging has a lot of pluses, no doubt about it. However, that shouldn’t blind us to its negative aspects. With instant messaging and social messaging, junk message has spawned in every corner of our lives.
If you look to our recent history, in the period of postcards and letters, you’ll notice how people cared about them. People thought and tried to put everything they had on their minds on the paper. People cared because they knew that someone would get it later and knew that this person would be reading it intently.
People focused because it was worth it. Now with instant messaging, we’ve broken all the rules of emotions. In addition, to this not only is the content we get more junky, but the language which is used in IM is getting worse too. Communication isn’t important any more.
I am not arguing against the importance of “fast” and “instant” messaging. I’m just trying to give my opinion on the side of what we’ve lost. I’ve seen a bunch of startups which were constantly bragging about being faster, being unique, and solving problems, but I was impressed by very few of them. That was until I saw Minute of Life. Then I decided to share with you about it.
And it’s precisely because it isn’t an instant messaging service, but something else. Because it is not fast, non-instant, time-related, valuable, targeted to worth but, most importantly, it’s absolutely interpersonal. It gathers nostalgia, technology, and time all together and creates a bridge between people. With this service you don’t care about the masses, you care the people, who are really important to you.
So, as an investor it blessed me, and I want to tell you about it too. I have no doubt that whatever may become, it’s already the next big thing. Whoever has vision will understand what I mean.
So, what is Minute of Life?
“MINUTE OF LIFE IS THE FIRST VIDEO MESSAGING SERVICE CONNECTED WITH TIME.”
It is a service that lets users send a video message to a distinct point in the future. When they create messages, they choose a time in the future when it becomes available to be watched.
Then what makes it unique?
In an age of instant gratification, anticipation is a lost pleasure. Minute of Life unites the value of emotional messages and time with sharing and a desire to make messages public.
Additionally, it creates a new opportunity for users to send messages to the future, especially to cluster messages around holidays and significant events.
What problems does it solve?
I believe that personal messaging is a special thing. But what can make my personal message more important than any other one? It’s the content! Who cares about my content? Only people who care about me, or who I care about.
In these circumstances, Minute of life gives the opportunity to people of contacting their loved ones with their memories, through their good and bad times and directly to each other. The sender specifies the recipient and fixes the time for their message to be shown. Time? Yes!
People forget about time. But every single thing we do, all the things that happen to us, all of it lays on a chronological line. Only I know what happened to me in my life. Only I know which date and time is very valuable for my friend. Only I know about my father’s special days – not birthdays and other things like that, but days with a special personal significance.
I have been in the information technology business already 20 years. I was a developer, I was a business holder, entrepreneur, and investor. I can surely say that I have never been impressed with any idea as much as I was by Minute of Life. Time related future messaging is simply genius!
Startups try to grab a niche to solve a single problem. Minute of Life is solving the most complex problem in the world – interpersonal relationships.
Let’s talk about some of the technical parts, to understand the project as a whole. A person comes to the service’s website and creates a video message using the media editor on the site. While creating the message, they can add their photos and videos or record themselves, at the end all the files are converted into a video. In a minute you can place 12 photos. Also, users are creating approximately 3 minute presentations according to the site’s stats, coming to 36 photos, which is not even counting the videos they add.
With these data, given a million users, there can be more then 36 million user photos on the service. This is just a huge interpersonal data corpus. Just after that you choose the recepient(s), then you fix the display time. You can choose any date and time slot if it’s not taken by another user. During creation of these messages you can set the privacy of your message too. You can choose public or private. If the message is private only your recepient can see it, and if it’s a public presentation when its time comes it shows on the main page and can be viewed by anyone.
Each recipient has their own unique page where the message is located as well as the showtime and date. He can answer the other person with another message.
Before, you were writing letters, carefully choosing your words to explain your emotions, but here you put your memories and pictures into a message and sign them with your ideas and opinions just according to you, adding text to your photos, videos, or just shooting a webcam video and just talking to your recipient. Nothing can be more emotional than this. You basically put your emotional content into a time package and send it. If you have something to say to the future, if you want to remind someone once more how you love them, if you want to apologize or just wish someone a happy new year, this could be the most amazing platform to do it.
As an investor, let’s talk about its financial future too. I can say there are huge financial opportunities in Minute of Life. Because nowadays people are searching more and more for organic, living, valuable things to counteract the increasing speed of life. The huge response rate by the users is the one of the most open pieces of evidence of this. There are hundreds of ways to monetize which can be implemented into Minute of Life without damaging the idea or the usability of the service. Objectively, this startup is getting far away from being just an idea or a prototype. It’s a working, well accepted product which is waiting just for a boost by investors to be a real star.
This impressive, unique, non-instant, time-related, video sharing service is just mind blowing. I am very glad that in our century people are developing for the future while caring about nostalgia and values. I can say that this is the next big thing of our future!
Social sharing, instant messaging, e-mail, etc. are good! But they are not good for valuable messages. They are good for making us hurry. Billions of pieces of information are flying around, but what makes them special?
Written by James Callahan – CEO of Star Root LLC, he has special interest in startup trends.
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