Life After A ‘Terrific Failure’

Recently imeem founder, Dalton Caldwell, came home to his alma mater so he could speak to a room full of budding entrepreneurs reports Peninsula Press.

“I know half of you probably saw me on the program and asked ‘Who’s this guy? Didn’t his company just blow up about nine months ago?’ Yes, that is me.”

At its peak — before things went downhill – imeem had achieved a coveted Alexa ranking as the 75th most trafficked site on the Internet. The site’s popular music widget, used to share playlists with friends among various social networks, attracted 108 million unique monthly views, amounting to almost 10 percent of Internet users at the time. The company also generated $24 million in yearly revenue while becoming the first startup to broker licensing agreements with all four major music labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI.

For about 10 months, imeem’s site growth rivaled that of YouTube. But an onslaught of copyright lawsuits (mostly from independent artists and labels) and increasing operating costs began to cripple the company. Facing a resource-consuming lawsuit from Orchard Enterprises and unable to muster an additional round of funding, imeem, a $50 million investment, was sold to MySpace in 2009 for a mere $1 million.

Caldwell returned to his entrepreneurial roots shortly after the demise of imeem. He started a new company, picplz, a photo sharing social media application for the Android and iPhone platforms.

“Having done this before, the best thing to do is build a simple product that works and delights people, then go from that and work toward a bigger vision,” Caldwell said. “But I think I’ll monetize it earlier this time around because that’s half of the reason I think I’m useful to the startup world.”

Screenshot from picplz


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