Getting Value From Experimental Technology
David Cohen (who I have done a few angel deals with – including ClickCaster and Solidware) recently spent a couple of weeks building a cool new tool called earFeeder. earFeeder scans your music collection and automatically creates a single RSS newsfeed containing news about your favorite artists including new releases on iTunes, concert dates and ticket availability, Rolling Stone articles, etc. He got a graphics designer (Brad Searle) to do the look and feel in exchange for a share of the company. Then David introduced earFeeder for the first time in public at the New Tech Meetup on October 3rd and opened it up to a public beta on that day. He told me that he really built it for himself but since some of his friends (including me) had given him good feedback on it, he decided to throw it out there and see what people thought and then improve it from there.
Two weeks later, TechCrunch covered earFeeder, followed shortly by LifeHacker. David estimates that about a million people have now seen a story about earFeeder, and many thousands of feeds have been created.
Here’s what’s really interesting: A Silicon Valley company called SonicSwap acquired earFeeder this past Friday and David is now an investor in that company. This happened just 39 days after he first showed it in public, and David says he spent a total of about three weeks and $600 on the project. That’s a pretty neat way to get some real value out of some experimental technology.