Flowgram Was Cool. Now It's Dead

Well, this is a bummer. Flowgram, a promising startup that launched last July, is a goner.

The service let users create screencasts with live websites, and the early beta users really liked it:

What you see above is not a video or a slide show, it is a Flowgram. If you click on it, you will be taken to a full-screen player with what appears to be a screencast with a voiceover. Except that you can control the pages by scrolling up and down, watching any videos that might be on the page, or clicking on the live links (which takes you out of the Flowgram to that Website, but if you hit the back button it picks up where it left off). You can also add comments and share the Flowgram via a widget like the one above, which is muted and requires you to click through for the full experience.

But this evening founder Abhay Parekh sent an email out to users letting them know that the service would be closed by the end of June (in fact it’s dead now):

Dear Flowgram user:

Today is a sad day for us. We have decided to terminate the Flowgram service as of the end of the month (June 30th, 2009). The service received excellent reviews and had an enthusiastic core user base. However, we were not able to demonstrate (especially in these economic times) that Flowgrams would ever be prevalent enough for us to adequately monetize the business, either though ads or subscriptions. This is obviously very disappointing, but building the Flowgram platform was a lot of fun, and it was wonderful to see how many of you used our tool to express yourselves in a deep and meaningful way.

Although you won’t be able to play your Flowgrams after the end of the month, you can export them to video by clicking “share” from the website or “more sharing options” from the Flowgram player and scrolling down to the export to video section. It is very important, if you wish to keep your content, that you export to video and download the video by the end of the month. Please let us know at support@flowgram.com if you have any difficulties doing this.

Again, I would like to thank you for your support, for your Flowgrams and for your good wishes.

Best Regards
Abhay Parekh (Founder) and the rest of the Flowgram Team

Flowgram enters the DeadPool after raising $1.3 million from prominent angel investors Reid Hoffman, Josh Kopelman, Caterina Fake, Stewart Butterfield, Bud Colligan, Kevin Lynch, Joi Ito and Rajeev Motwani. Just goes to show that even the smartest and richest people in Silicon Valley can still make a whopper of a bad investment decision.