iToto's Blog

A Montreal based full-stack web developer who loves learning and trying out new things. This blog is my attempt to document my work as well as a place to discuss ideas or topics that I find interesting. Feel free to follow me on linked social networks.

Filtering by Tag: social

Are all VCs evil?

As some of you know, I've been working on my side project Party Stream for some time now. My goal has been to release early and often. This would allow us to have people use the app and itterate through to polish it as much as possible.

When I realized it was taking me way to long by myself, I decided to invite my closest friends to help me out. Keeping in mind that we've been solely working on this on our spare time, it's been moving a long but not as much as I'd hoped.

Since then, I've met with some startup people in Montreal and they've told me about the incubator programs and the inevitable hunt for VCs. I was never a fan of VCs - mostly because I'm uncomfortbale with the idea of non I.T. people running a software company.

The issue is, however, that the only way for us to put in the time required, we would need to work full time. And that's basically where VCs come in.

Still undecided on the idea, I came across a new iOS app that one of my good friends told me about. It's similar to Party Stream, but it's specifically for wedding parties. Rightly so, it's called Wedding Party App.

TechCrunch did an article on them, and in it, I saw a bunch of similarities between them and us. We have the same goals, and vision for our apps. They released when I originally wanted to release (this summer). They started with iOS and ported to Android later. They are also introducing a web-based app that will include more functionality. All of these are basically in the pipeling for Party Stream - just waiting to be done.

When I asked myself "how were these guys able to release before me" I saw that the answer was right in front of me.

They received quite a few VCs and angel investors to back their idea. Knowing this now, if an app like that can get that kind of backing, then there's no reason why an app like Party Stream shouldn't get some attention.

Bottom line is, do I want VCs or angel investors? Or should I stick to my guns and just have our team continue to work on this part-time and release it whenever it's ready?

Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.

My problem with social media

So today we all heard the news buzzing around Instagram and how their new terms and conditions supposedly places them in a position where they can sell their users' photos.

"A business or other entity may pay" Instagram to display users' photos and other details "in connection with paid or sponsored content or promotions, without any compensation to you."

Regardless of whether or not this is true, this is a reality that we have to expect these days.  Social websites – like Facebook – own all their users' media/information; and most user's aren't even aware of this. When Facebook first announced that it would own all material that it's users upload to them - it really bothered me. Why would I want to give my private content away to some company, who then can do what ever they want with it. The idea of strangers owning my private information and doing what ever they want with is quite bothersome to me. However, the ability to upload our media to the "cloud" and then share it with all our friends and family is super convenient. Ultimately, it would be nice to have both (privacy and convenience). Instagram was an app that I thought would have that; I could upload my pictures and share them with my friends. If I decided to remove a picture, or only show that picture to a select few people I could, or so I thought...

To be honest, since Facebook acquired Instagram, I knew that a day like this would come. Some people are now thinking of dropping Instagram, and I can't say I blame them. I decided to leave Facebook when they first introduced their crazy new privacy policy, which was a similar situation. And I'm sure this trend will continue and result in more user's closing their accounts.  

This is what motivated me to create the app that I'm currently working on.

I want to give people an application that they can use where they know that everything  they share is not being sold for profits (or ever will be) and will only be absorbed by the audience that they explicitly allow. And that if they decide to delete something, it will actually be deleted - not archived. This is the kind of app that I would want to use, and I'm sure there are people out there who agree with me – and I think I can see more people coming...