Announcing MySites - Sponsor of The Drama 2.0 Show

Posted on April 8, 2008
Filed Under Commercial Interruptions |

I’m proud to announce that the sponsor of The Drama 2.0 Show is Finnish Internet startup MySites. The company, which will launch later this month, has created an online service that enables its users to create their own “sites” where they can organize, store and share all of their content, including pictures, music, video, blogs, calendars and documents. MySites features privacy controls, access from mobiles and other Internet-connected devices and, perhaps most importantly, an open platform that will enable developers to extend the service so that new features and functionalities are offered.

Ramine Darabiha is the founder of MySites. Unlike many Web 2.0 startup founders, he didn’t drop out of Harvard, didn’t graduate from Stanford and he actually looks like he is over 21. That, and the fact that he’s not based in Silicon Valley, should give him a head start. Here is his story:

A long time ago, in a cold and remote place, lived a French exchange student.

As an exchange student, he made new friends, he would often party, and when he thought of home, he would want to write about his thoughts and share them with his peers. In school, he would always forget his USB memory or send himself attachments by email. And at home, he’d play Counterstrike with his team and lament the fact that it was difficult to set up a decent website for them.

Back in those days, “Web 2.0″ and Social Networking sites were the new black. New sites came every day, promising to solve his problems. But none did. More and more spam (sorry, invites) asked him to register to silly websites with stupid names, just so that he could do one thing.

For every YourTube and MyFace, there would be another link, another login. Another set of friends to invite, another interface.

Different functionality, no interoperability. No localizations, no centralization.

This burden became too much for him.

The Finnish winter can be long and dark, but forges the will. In his room, he started sketching for ways to put his content online for others in a sensible way.

As he consumed the equivalent of a small forest’s worth in paper, he realized one pattern. That everything online could be mastered through a single interface, with the same tools. Just like on your computer. But online! All you would need to create is ways to manage that data differently.

With this idea in mind, he went to look for brave and bold men who would be crazy enough to build it. He found expert in Ruby on Rails and scaling, who believed in his vision of recycling, optimization and openness.

And so, their two year journey to create a new way for people to “be” online began.

As he was still a student, the task seemed unfeasable.
He begged from his dad “Why do you want to spend money rather than have a job and make some?!”.
He received support from the Finnish government to build his company.
He ate large quantities of pasta (the Finnish equivalent of Ramen noodles).
He found a nice domain name.
And eventually, after extensive bootstrapping, he found private investors to help.

Meet MySites.

We launch in April :)

Ramine gave me the opportunity to test drive MySites a few weeks ago and it does work! I’m looking forward to using the final product.

Ramine and his crew are getting a few kinks out of the system and polishing things up before their formal launch and upon launch, invites will be provided to readers of The Drama 2.0 Show and I’ll be providing my opinion and thoughts on MySites and its prospects. Stay tuned and feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for Ramine.

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18 Responses to “Announcing MySites - Sponsor of The Drama 2.0 Show”

  1. Warren on April 8th, 2008 8:05 pm

    Did you forget to post this on April Fools Day? Hopefully this new endeavor by the Finns is easier to use than my Nokia phone.

  2. Nico on April 8th, 2008 9:14 pm

    Interesting. I wonder if the team is capable or experienced enough to pull it off, or if we’ll end up with another Zuckerberg fad.

    Also, it will be interesting to see how they can compete (if at all) with the likes of Google and Windows Live .

    Looking forward to see what they come up with.

  3. Mike on April 9th, 2008 2:16 am

    At last a cave to live in (and keep all my shit together in one place)!

  4. Does it Really Matter on April 9th, 2008 10:21 am

    Well greetings D2,
    This is what you’ve decided to back after all your rants? I prefer my shit on… own PCs (yes, we all have laptops, desktops, and many other devices). If I could have all my crap on my desktop and access it via any other device of mine, I would like that (even if a stand-alone app running in the background). I don’t live in the 3rd world, and I never use someone else’s device (eg. no cybercafes). Unless the data being used/collected is not owned by me, or at least provided to me by a 3rd party (pics, mp3s, videos, calendars,etc), I need it on my own PC.

    The freemium model is all that I can think of in terms of monetization. Kind of like the online backup/ storage services with a more simple interface that directs me based on file type.

    Barriers to entry for the existing players?
    Patents aren’t likely.
    DRM (or some other lock-in mechanism)will be received poorly.

    Talk about a defenseless value proposition. I guess they are paying you so what do you care.

    I would like to see a competitive analysis piece because I know Tubes (dot com) and others provide comparable services.

  5. Drama 2.0 on April 9th, 2008 10:35 am

    Does it Really Matter: perhaps you don’t understand the concept of a sponsorship.

    Upon MySites’ launch, I’ll be providing an analysis of the service and what I think the company has to do to succeed.

    If I didn’t know any better, given the name you’ve supplied and the fact that you put in a bogus email address, I might guess that you have a vested interest that prompted your post. I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to take personal credit for such a brilliant post.

  6. antje wilsch on April 9th, 2008 11:32 am

    D - I think they could use a new logo :( (it looks like something but I can’t place my finger on it yet). PS Why would a french exchange student live in Finland get the Finn gov’t to support? (actually I DO like the story element! just wondering)

  7. Does it Really Matter on April 9th, 2008 2:59 pm

    Let me get this straight:
    Guy that writes blog anonymously calls out guy that comments anonymously?

    I raised questions that can be addressed regarding MySites prior to launch, such as

    1) Competition
    2) Defensibility
    3) Value Proposition

    Now, if you do not wish to discuss any of this, and instead dodge the issues I raised, that is fine.

    You cannot, however, question my anonymity. Otherwise, where does that leave you?

  8. Ramine on April 9th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Hey everyone. Here are some answers to your remarks.

    Warren: The people of Finland will not tolerate such blasphemy! Seriously, we’re doing our best so that it’s easy to use. The fact that we have everything in one place really helps.

    Nico: The team is certainly capable. Just wait until you get to try the site. The good news is, if you think they’re shit, you’ll be able to improve things with our developer platform!

    I agree the big guys are going for this kind of concept too. Thankfully, they seem to be a bit late, and I like to think that we’re more open and people oriented.

    Mike: Thanks for the kind words!

    Antje wilsch: Glad you liked the story.
    Maybe you’re thinking of the Pepsi logo? :) We’re completely open to suggestions - actually, we considered doing a contest for that.

    Also, how does a french exchange student get Finnish govt support?

    Pick a guess:
    a) he is very handsome
    b) they had money to spare
    c) they need to promote entrepreneurship
    d) the company had a solid business case
    e) all of the above

    Does it really matter:
    Hello, anonymous person.

    Some data is better on your own computer. But surely you understand that the main aspect of having “data in the cloud” is that you can share it with others easily.

    If people enjoy showing their stuff to other people on YouTube, Flickr and (god forbid!) MySpace, there must be some a need for it?

    We will provide full privacy controls, so if you want to use our storage just to sync your data from one computer to another, you can do that. And you can bet that sooner or later you’ll be able to mount that as a drive on your computer (just look at how some geeks made the same thing for Gmail!).

    Regarding your other points, please understand that this was just an introduction. We’ll definitely go into these points more in detail.

    About the business model, there’s plenty of ways other than freemium that I can think of :)

    As for defensibility, I like to think that we got that angle covered. Just wait until you see it!

  9. Drama 2.0 on April 9th, 2008 3:47 pm

    Does It Really Matter: I blog under a pseudonym and I use a valid email address so those who want to contact me can. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get a response from you if I were to email and .

    Of course, this is a moot point. I’d suggest you familiarize yourself with the dictionary and the definition of “sponsor.”

    MySites is the sponsor of The Drama 2.0 Show. I’m not an employee of MySites nor am I an investor (making your “This is what you’ve decided to back after all your rants?” comment quite curious).

    As mentioned in this blog post, I’ll be providing my thoughts on the company upon their formal launch.

    You clearly have a hard-on to get more information about MySites immediately and I’d hate for you to lose sleep over this. Email and I’ll be happy to hook you up with Ramine so that you can have your questions and concerns addressed by the head cheese himself.

    Somehow I doubt you’ll take me up on this offer.

  10. antje wilsch on April 9th, 2008 3:50 pm

    but everyone hates the french, this is my point… :)

  11. Bonoboy on April 9th, 2008 3:50 pm

    Enough with the bickering! When’s the launch?

  12. Ville Vesterinen on April 9th, 2008 5:24 pm

    On thing I’ve seen and that I kinda do like is the MySites logo. Personality flaw on my end perhaps. I have seen a quick peak at the service as well, but a too quick that I could tell what I think about it and whether it lives up the the promise.

    Nevertheless, if Ramine and the rest of the MySites crew can walk the talk, I’d love to have one flexible and easily customizable destination in the cloud for all my stuff, that would also look good …and I want to emphasize the flexible, easily customizable and aesthetically good looking here.

    Further, I have met Ramine shortly and would not be surprised if the passionate Frenchman is onto something good here.

    Best of luck, and based on all the previous tech hits, it’s actually a good sign that all your peers tell you that you should reconsider, find a job and stop living in a dream -a sure way to never end up doing anything remarkable.

    Keep on dreaming buddy! So will i :)

    Disclosure: Ramine was sponsoring an event I organized @

  13. Does it Really Matter on April 9th, 2008 5:46 pm

    Hi Ramine,
    Thanks for your kind response. I wish you luck in your coming launch.

    @D2, After bashing so many companies (rightfully) when they have been featured elsewhere, my “hard-on” comes from interest in seeing how you treat your sponsor. Arrington sure seems to have bias as a result of sponsorship. At this point, things do not look good here, but we shall see if you pull any further punches (the low hanging fruit I indicated above would’ve been a start).

    FYI (since you seem to have drawn false conclusions), I work for a very large financial services provider (B2B). I have no interest in consumer web technology. In my spare time I am working on a data mining application for merchant acquirers.

  14. Commoncents on April 9th, 2008 8:23 pm

    Glad to hear there is a new sheriff coming to town. Look forward to more law and order in the Wild West coming soon!

  15. Drama 2.0 on April 9th, 2008 10:38 pm

    Does it Really Matter: things don’t look good here? I announced who my sponsor is along with the story of the company as told by the founder.

    As per the post, I will be providing my thoughts and opinions upon launch. As of this moment, I have simply described what MySites is. I haven’t called it the best thing since sliced bread, have I?

    In fact, Ramine has specifically asked that I provide an assessment that isn’t sugar-coated, which I planned to do and will do. On my schedule, not yours.

  16. Paul on April 11th, 2008 11:06 pm

    If the site is about sharing content, how will it deal with copyright issues?

    Good luck Ramine.


  17. Ramine on April 12th, 2008 10:46 am

    Hey Paul.

    Our policy is that the users are responsible for what they put online.

    You own your content, you make sure you have the right to share it, you decide who can view it.

    I’ll explain that more in detail when we launch.


  18. Sponsor Shout-Out : The Drama 2.0 Show on June 2nd, 2008 2:01 am

    […] like to thank MySites, a Finnish Internet startup, for sponsoring The Drama 2.0 Show and contributing to my future alimony […]

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