Fleck Headed To The Deadpool Because Nobody Wants to Annotate The Web

Just a week after ReFrame It launched its service that lets people annotate Web pages, another startup that’s been doing pretty much the same thing since 2006, Fleck, is putting itself up for sale. Fleck is a Dutch company founded by Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten and Patrick de Laive, the famous white-suited entrepreneurs who woke up Mike once at his house to pitch their startup. The duo also run the Next Web conference (disclosure: I was the moderator last year) and blog, which they will now be focusing on.

I asked Boris, why Fleck never really took off and why he wants to unload it. His answer:

Version 1 was too limited and version 2 was too complicated. Latest version is great. Now all it needs is another push and some attention. We can’t give it that because we have other interests now (Blog & Conference and our shares in Twones and Wakoopa) and we are out of funding. Time for a new owner!

The service started out as a way to add the equivalent of sticky notes to Web pages. So that when other Fleck members visit that page, you can see their notes. This idea has been appealing to many entrepreneurs (see, Third Voice, Stickis, Diigo, ShiftSpace, TrailFire) but has so far failed to catch on. Fleck has evolved to include bookmark sharing, tagging, and Friendcasting capabilities. Now Boris and Patrick are hoping to get back the one-million-Euro valuation that investors put on the service during its last round.

Good luck with that, because if they don’t sell it, this thing is going into the deadpool.

Update: Boris wrote a post about the sale.

Here’s a video of Patrick explaining what Fleck can do: