Rick Segal picks up on Randy Charles Morin’s RMail app and makes a couple of observations about the project and the path that Randy has taken. All of Rick’s comments are quite reasonable but I think he missed two very important ones.
First a small personal note, Randy was one of the first people to pick up my blog and comment in a post. Over the years he has been a fountain of knowledge about RSS, which a great many of us make the mistake of referring to as “just XML” (I did this just last week and was quickly corrected), it is XML but by no means is it easy.
Randy is a genuine domain expert in the RSS field and that level of knowledge keeps one from making critical mistakes when building a company around the technology, and it’s worth something to acquirers as well. While Randy’s company may or may not be a business, it is something that an array of potential acquirers would step up for. In short, he’s fundable.
Secondly, RMail is not only a application with 20,000 users, it’s a network of subscriptions and an archive of user behavior. If I were considering for investment I would look beyond the application itself and model out the options for monetizing the network.
Second. It took a year for this to get to 20,000 people with basically word of mouth, word of blog â€˜advertising.â€™ This, I believe is key because this is normal. You have a nice steady up tick. You can assume Mike Arrington and TechCrunch are busy and wonâ€™t notice when you launch your product or service. You can assume Microsoft is not likely to buy your product. Plan for steady progress in the absence of the exceptions.