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Update on the Color iPhone App

Back in May 2011, I wrote about the Color iPhone app, described as its developers back then as a service to create new, dynamic social networks for your iPhone or Android  wherever you go. What I was not aware back then was who was the man behind this app and why he had the guts to claim that his product would be a Facebook killer.

The Man Behind Color

Mr. Bill Nguyen is the co-founder of Color Labs, Inc. and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. He was famous for telling Fast Company back in March 2011, 2 months before the launch of Color that:

When Steve [Jobs] describes the post-PC world, all the things that were written in the PC world are almost doomed to fail. Everything that Facebook built as a technology was based on old technology. It was all around this premise that you’ll sit in front of this machine that has no idea who you are, so you have to tell it–who you are and what you like. I do think Facebook is broken.

Why would he take a chance at such a bold statement?

”]If you take a look at Bill’s track record, he hasn’t done that bad. For example, he sold virtual phone/fax/email service platform,, to for $850 million in 2000; and his cloud-based music streaming service, Lala, to Apple for $80 million in 2009. Bill had big dreams of creating a social network solution for smartphone users. Hence, the Facebook-killer claim.

Color, the Ishtar of iPhone Apps

Color was called the Ishtar of iPhone apps back in June 14, 2011 by TechCrunch because of the similiarity in their marketing to losses ratio. The film Ishtar spent $55 million in marketing while it had a net loss of $40 million. Color spent $350k for the domain and $75k for the domain. Nguyen hired six top-level engineers working on a 22,000 square-foot office, and spent incredible amounts on publicity. Despite all of these expenses, the Color iphone app hadn’t even been able to secure approval from Apple by the date of the launch. On the date of the app launch, most users were giving Color a 1 or 2 star rating out of 5. Colorful game over.

The Future of Color

Biting its own tongue, Color is mainly a Facebook app. Using your phone, Color allows you to do live broadcasts. However, unlike videos, there’s no audio, editing, or uploading. You’ve got 30 seconds to tell your story. Up to 5,000 friends can simultaneously visit your broadcast from their phone and Facebook.

Nguyen explained to Fast Company in September 2011:

It dawned on me that Facebook IS the platform. This is the new operating system. I mean you can’t survive without it. It’s the everything.I think that this evolution that’s happened over the past six months is, ‘Oh my God there already is this great invention, and it’s called Facebook.

Obviously, following the saying “If you can’t beat them, join them.”, Nguyen goes from Facebook-killer to Facebook cheerleader.

Try the new Color app at

Damian Davila conducted a survey that shows what people look for in photo sharing services. Follow him on Twitter at @idaconcpts.

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One Reply

  1. Hi everyboyd, thank you for the positive feedback.

    @elizas doing good, how about you? :)

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