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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography
Thread started 14 Jul 2015 (Tuesday) 19:32
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The uber of photography?

 
banquetbear
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Jul 28, 2015 22:37 |  #16

...sorry to post again, but these guys are so utterly clueless. From their "new business plan"

Let’s imagine you are our customer, here is a step by step of how Finic will work with you:

We will conduct most of our work offline. In fact, you will not be able to order anything online. You’re able to browse and learn about our service, our product, our process, our company and book an appointment with one of our agents through the website.
One of our agents picks up your request and contacts you to set-up an appointment.
The agent arrives at your house, collects all needed information from you as well as takes pictures of your current wall space and interior.
The agent leaves your home and promises to show you a custom presentation of how we plan to decorate your walls. Our team, of professional interior designers, comes up with multiple scenarios and options for you. We evaluate all the options and decide with one we want to proceed.
We come back to your house to present the choices for your design plan, and the one we decided will be the best fit for you. If you are happy with the decision, we place the order immediately while we’re at your house, and you pay right there and then. If you are not satisfied for any reason with our work, we will send the order back to our design team with the feedback you give. We will come back to your house to show the improved version and go through it with you again.
After payment is secured, the order is sent to a local shop where we print, assemble and deliver the entire order to you, using our courier and installation team within 24 hours.
We install the wall art on your walls in the precise spots that were picked by our interior designers. We take away any packaging and clean up after ourselves.
You are happy and tell your friends about us for which both of you receive presents and discounts.

http://startuplabs.com​/blog/our-new-business-model/ (external link)

This isn't reinventing the wheel to make it cooler, sleeker and meaner, this is taking the wheel, putting a hole in it and breaking all the spokes. I can imagine that they spent weeks coming up with this convoluted long winded plan of delivering wall art. But wall art is such a tiny market segment. And people that do have art in their homes know what artists they like and seek those artists out. This business is simply not viable.

I have this urge to contact them and tell them to fire all their staff, break their leases and get out with whatever dignity they possibly can now. The owner seems like a nice guy. Just utterly clueless. My god this is depressing.


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kermit4u
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Jul 29, 2015 11:13 |  #17

how does this compare just launched yesterday

http://www.getstickyap​ps.com/ (external link)


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 29, 2015 11:29 |  #18

benji25 wrote in post #17648041 (external link)
...

Seriously does anyone know what they do?

Sure!

They get a cut of your payment, which was less than it used to be now that they are creating a market with even heavier competition from know nothings.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jul 29, 2015 11:31 |  #19

banquetbear wrote in post #17648052 (external link)
...so they've completely changed their website again? The third time in three weeks? And the marketing message has changed, yet again?


I guess they couldn't find any "photographers" to take their group shot?


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joedlh
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Jul 29, 2015 13:38 as a reply to kermit4u's post |  #20

Stickyapps appears to be aimed at mobile web applications for small businesses. That's a far cry from a photographer's skill set. I have web development expertise and I'm a photographer. There is very little overlap, save for getting photos for a web site. That's only a small part of web development.

The other one, PICR, seems to plan on offering a way for people to get photographic services instead of looking for a photographer on Craigslist or elsewhere.

These guys seem to be trying to monetize the Uber business model. Shades of the dot com bubble of 1997–2000, where people with scant viable paths to generating revenue reaped millions in investment dollars from entrepreneur types who turned out not to have a clue.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Post has been edited over 2 years ago by CyberDyneSystems.
Jul 29, 2015 14:46 |  #21

"I love UberDesigner! I just flew in from Albuquerque, and was walking from the terminal to the cab pick up, when it occurred to me that I CAN'T GET HOME WITH NEW CURTAINS without a major hassle!

No problem, I fired up UberDesigner on my iPhone6, and there was a sharply dressed flamboyant designer in a minivan loaded with window dressing waiting at curbside to drive me home. On the way I looked at sample books and sipped a double/half/caff/decaf​f/mocha/caramel latte.

The install went great, only cost me $48.95, and they took photos as we went and published them to my facebook page. The photos were almost as good as the ones i could have taken on my iPhone!"


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banquetbear
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Oct 03, 2016 00:33 |  #22

...just needed to bump this: mainly because I clicked over to PICR to see how they were doing. The site actually got up and running last year. It had photographers on there and everything.

In November last year PICR got featured on Fstoppers: I commented on their post and had a "bit of a go" with one of PICR's staff members who posted in their defence.

https://fstoppers.com ...hotography-business-97193 (external link)

Mr Hoffman said "we'll be in NZ in about 14-18 months." Have a read of the comments: they are hilarious.

Well this is what PICR looks like at the moment: they are in the process of being "re-imagined."

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www.picr.com/ (external link)

Curious as to what had happened, I clicked over to the blog to look at the latest update. Of course, PICR being PICR, I had to scroll right down the blog page to find the "company announcement" because the site keeps posting vacuous blog posts (because SEO!!!) even though the company is completely starting again.

http://blog.picr.com/ (external link)

Here is what is happening:

http://blog.picr.com ...iew-whats-happening-picr/ (external link)
https://medium.com ...f-d3c392536eda#.uggam1e7​m (external link)
http://blog.picr.com/v​ague-explanation/ (external link)

The last couple of months were challenging and at times, a little emotional for everyone at Picr. Why? Well, first we had a hard time finding product market fit for the Picr platform’s clients. We spent thousands of dollars on marketing and got almost nothing in exchange. Second, we had to make a decision to lay off half of the team.

This is utterly infuriating for me. I don't care what happens to the CEO. He deserves what he gets. He's done this before. And he is going to do it again.

But I feel for the staff. When you burn through cash at the rates this business was burning it you eventually run out of cash.

And the thing is: this was entirely predictable. In fact, we did predict it, a year ago, in this very thread. On his personal blog, the founder said this:

"While we somewhat nailed it with one side of the platform, we completely failed at our other side — the clients."

Again: entirely predictable. As I said directly to Scott Hoffman in the comments section:

"You've spoken to plenty of photographers and you've got 20,000 "signed up". But how many consumers are lining up, desperate for a service that will help them connect to photographers? How many consumers have you signed up? What is your plan to compete with "wedding photographer portland" pasted into a google search?"

And so they are going to "pivot" again. (The CEO loves the word pivot.)

So we decided to make a pivot that will affect our strategy and part of the product; we are switching to one-sided product. We had some success with the photographers and have lots of them on board. PICR is going to be a toolset for photographers. We believe that current model and workflow for photographers in the photography industry is broken and too complicated. Photographers use tons of different subscription services just to serve a single client. This approach is nonsense.

Nothing in the industry is "broken." The smart businessman are getting clients and making money. I use several different subscription services in my workflow. And that is because we all have our own, highly personal workflows, and trying to get every photographer to work in the same exact way is a nonsense approach. PICR keeps trying to fix things that aren't broken.

So PICR was never marketed to clients at all, just photographers. And PICR failed because it never got any clients. And their solution is not to market to clients at all. So the "pivot" will be to change the business that only markets to photographers. But their is a slight flaw in their pivot:

Our product will be completely free for life to all photographers who will sign up during our beta period. It will almost totally remove bandwidth and storage caps. I’m going to share more about the product in my future posts.

Incredible. It is hard to imagine that this company actually really exists. PICR is burning through cash, there is no plan to stop the burn or a plan to start making cash. Instead: they are going to have a beta period where everyone who signs up gets free membership, with no virtually no bandwidth or storage caps. PICR is always going to have a customer base that uses all of its products with no caps or restrictions for free. This is worse than their "six months free to all photographers who sign up by this date" (this was bad because it meant that for SIX MONTHS PICR HAD NO CASH COMING INTO THE BUSINESS at a time that it desperately needed cash.)

Hint to PICR: when you have 20,000 people signed up to want to use your services: offering "free lifetime membership" is absolutely the worst thing you can do. You don't need to "attract" these potential customers. They are already there. Start selling already.

When this all started they had 22 staff. Now they have nine. And the CEO has had to reluctantly step up to the plate and take over the "blogging duties." He should have been blogging from the start.

So where too from here for PICR?

We have set a goal: to launch the first version of our new product by the end of this September. That’s less than two months away. This is much more than simply launching a product. We have to launch a product that you love.

Oh. :(

And I missed out on the free T-shirt as well.


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seanlockephotography
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Oct 07, 2016 05:58 |  #23

You may find this interesting: http://www.forbes.com ...er-and-airbnb-never-will/ (external link)




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banquetbear
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Jul 10, 2017 21:14 |  #24

...I can't help check back on these guys every few months to see how the "Uber of photography" are going. So they are on their (by my calculation) their third major "pivot" now. They started out as a print company: that could "deliver prints to your client faster and more efficiently than ever before!" Then they figured out that "print was dead", so they pivoted to creating a photographers marketplace. To quote from their blog:

"In the world of tech startups, “Fail Fast” means that if you decide to pivot, it’s best to do it quickly. It’s like ripping off a band-aid. And that’s exactly what we did. We dismantled our shop, shut down the app, reorganized our workforce, and began to build a completely different product within days."

Yep: they completely changed their business in a matter of days, because thats the best way to do it apparently. But then:

"Shortly after our marketplace launch, we realized that the photography industry is not an environment where a marketplace will easily sprout and blossom."

So they pivoted again. Because the money was fast running out, they had to shed staff, the CEO had to take over the blog! Oh the humanity.

And here is the new pivot:

http://blog.picr.com/p​icr-product-reveal-picr/ (external link)

And I'll be quite frank: its an interesting idea. I've long wanted to integrate the various services I use to run my business at the moment. So fundamentally this isn't a bad idea.

But I don't have the confidence in the ability of PICR to pull this off. They haven't exhibited sound financial and strategic judgement in the past. I think they will run out of money before they get past beta-testing. They haven't had a product since they started: this company has virtually had zero revenue for a couple of years. Any single one of the features they are offering is extraordinarily complex to do at scale. I'm still with Photoshelter to do my hosting even though they haven't adapted their platform as much as I would have liked recently: and I'm still with them because they are stable financially, and they are unlikely to go out of business. I can't imagine that PICR has built a stable hosting/proofing/distr​ibution platform AND a lead capturing CRM AND a booking system AND a project management system AND automated emails AND a full client portal in the time that they have had with the budget that they had. Any one of those things would take significant investment in order to get things done properly. But do them all? At the same time? There is a reason why these services aren't generally integrated at the moment. Its because most working photographers have very different needs and workflows, and can pick and choose what they need in the current marketplace that will do whatever specialised task they need it to do. Any integrated service will have to be inherently "generic": forcing customers to follow the integrated workflow rather than the other way around. That's a pretty big flaw.

So I fully expect to check back in six month time and they will either be still in beta, will have pivoted again, or will be out of business. And for the life of me I can't figure out which of the three is most likely.


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DreDaze
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Jul 10, 2017 22:01 |  #25

this is kinda ridiculous...i don't see them being successful...i'm surprised their instagram is still active...although the number of likes they get from their 7,000 followers makes me feel better about my own instagram :)

i like the way you keep checking in banquetbear...it's kinda the whole reason i'm even commenting, so i can see the next pivot


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Jul 11, 2017 01:07 |  #26

Where is the reality TV film crew when you need them. It just seems that the original car crash has been hit by several more cars. I am just waiting for an aircraft to crash land on top of the whole mess.


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Pekka
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Jul 11, 2017 01:26 |  #27

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18399209 (external link)
Where is the reality TV film crew when you need them. It just seems that the original car crash has been hit by several more cars. I am just waiting for an aircraft to crash land on top of the whole mess.

Just watch HBO's Silicon Valley :-)


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DreDaze
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Sep 05, 2017 00:34 |  #28

just saw a friend on facebook link to their site...it's live now...beta version...i'm debating on if i want to show the friend all the blog posts...


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Scatterbrained
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Sep 05, 2017 01:34 |  #29

I'm jumping in just out of morbid curiosity.


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strobe ­ monkey
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Sep 05, 2017 01:42 |  #30

All I see is talk, talk, talk..... LMAO


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