Hi. I’ve joined a new startup!
Most of you know that I was recently working with friends on getting a new business off the ground, a mobile wine-recommendation app that we call New Cru. As excited as I am to work on that startup (it’s a huge market and a really fun space), my two co-founders have come down with a crippling case of Day-Job-ism and are dragging their feet to make the jump with me to launch the business. It’s something that we’ll definitely return to when there’s more time, but in the mean-time, I have the itch to jump into something new and crazy.
So for now, we’ve agreed to put New Cru on hold, and I’m proud to announce that I’ve joined an awesome team as a founder (running User Experience) at Zivity in San Francisco.
Zivity has an awesome business model: photographers and models upload high-quality photos that they shoot themselves with input from the subscribers. Because the models are so talented and the photographers are so skilled, Zivity’s subscribers (where we make our money) each pay a monthly $10 fee, kinda like NetFlix, but hotter.
The first time subscribers log into Zivity.com, and on the first of every month, they’re presented with 10 new virtual “votes”. Votes are like credits that can be spent on any model: the way most subscribers use them is to spend their votes on the photographers and models whose work they like best.
When subscribers spend votes, two things happen:
Each vote represents a fractional royalty payment to the artists from Zivity and the subscribers: one vote allocates $1 in royalty, which is split 60:40 between the model and the photographer, with the model receiving the greater share. (Zivity also takes 20% which goes to supporting the technology and finding new artists).
Since vote totals are public for every photo-set, it encourages friendly competition among the artists to see who can accrue the most votes each month
We’re 3 weeks in and our first release of anything is today – our pre-launch “coming soon” teaser site. My baby. After we launched, on the way home from work tonight, I stopped into the corner store to buy a lemonade and ended up showing off the site for the store owner, Eliseo, on his iPhone. And things just worked: the slideshow, the sign-up, the whole bit. I love web standards.
And when I saw our images dissolving and fading while he held the site literally in his hands, it hit me: I’m using Apple products, at a startup, in san francisco, to design a website to help naked girls and photographers make money. (sorry. consolation prize: if you ever hear me complaining about ANYTHING, just remind me to SHUT UP. :)