I’m a little late to this, but it is worth noting that events guru Ryan Carson – co-founder of the Carsonified conference and training company which does the rocking FOWA – recently sold his web app DropSend, some two years after putting it on the block.
The buyer is Webminds who, I understand, picked the app up for an undisclosed amount, though I gather it was in the low six figures. I hear Webminds plans to take on the much larger and well funded YouSendIt which has $34 million in backing.
Ryan says he plans to plough the money from DropSend back into Carsonified, possibly to build more web apps.
Ryan – who for the record I like and I credit with being one of the guys who kicked off Web 2.0 in the UK – and I have had philosophical differences in the past. Hell, we’re going to be on a panel at FOWA together. But I actually agree with his view that web developers can take an alternative route to venture/angel funding and build a Web app from scratch and then sell it, in the process retaining control and owning 100% of the equity. Ryan has proved this himself, clearly. That is great if, like Ryan, you built an app for friends and family money – or even in your spare time? – and then sell it for a couple of times more than it cost to build. Indeed, as Carson has often said, DropSend cost in the region of £50-60,000 to build. And he has continued to try to put his money where his mouth is – apparently building a Web app in 4 days from scratch called Matt which allows you to post to multiple Twitter accounts. But I think there is also an argument to say that having a smaller share of a larger company pie works too – and that can only be achieved with backing. I also think it’s going to be tough to just ‘flip’ a web app in the current market conditions, but I suppose we are all changing our thoughts on that issue daily at the moment.
I guess it depends on your whole approach. Carsonified is famous for giving it’s workers a 4 day week, a new Mac and iPhone when they join and a harmonious work/life balance. ‘Tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To work; to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream of Web apps…
Let’s hear your views in the comments.