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.
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.Print This Post