Kevin Rose, founder of digg, has just launched a new service. It’s called Pownce and is designed to help you broadcast small bits of data (notes, links, pictures, etc.) to groups of people. Valleywag promptly panned Pownce claiming that it wasn’t useful and that it was YASN (yet another social network.)
So, Pownce might not be useful to Tim Faulkner, the guy who wrote the article. I, on the other hand, think that is useful. I even considered building exactly the same thing just for me and my friends. It would save us time, help to unclog our inboxes from the redundant links we send to each other all the time, and give us a more convenient archive of the little tidbits we thought were important enough to broadcast to each other.
Truthfully though, neither my opinion nor Tim Faulkner’s really matter here.
We live in a world where apps like Pownce are super cheap to build, launch, and operate. My Pownce-like app was going to take a couple of weekends to implement. I would have hosted it on my own server which costs me less than a daily latte at Starbucks. That server has more than enough capacity to scale a pownce-like app to my network of friends and to their first-order networks–almost certainly with plenty of headroom to spare.
Even if Pownce is an abject failure, the founding team is out virtually nothing in terms of operating costs or invested time. Probably the most valuable thing they lose in the total failure scenario is the opportunity to have done something cooler with their time and energy.
I doubt that Pownce will be a total failure. In my opinion, it has the potential to be very popular. My friends and I will almost certainly use it. Even if it is only middling popular though, say 1M page views per day, operating costs will still be next to nothing, and the ads income from that traffic could make the partners more money per year than they could earn as software developers at most places. If it is wildly popular…well…then the founding team could get rich.
We live in wonderful times.
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