Thoughts on Path

Path Homepage December 2010

I’m a bit obsessed with Path right now.  I can’t put my finger on it, but there is a spark there that I have not seen in a startup in a long time.

Path, for those of you that have not used it, is a simple mobile app where you post pictures and videos to share with your friends.  As they have posted, it is the personal network.  Think about taking a photo and emailing it to your family.  That process online, with location, tagging and a few more friends, is Path.

No celebrity here.  The winner is the little guy, the one with the clever content and developing friendships.  Here is a promo video for them, gets right to the personal part (and I fell in love with the girl as well).

Content (like this blog) live and die with viral growth.  I have posts that are read by hundreds of thousands of people because it is shared via networks and searches.  This is startup mantra 101.  Create ways for little bits of content to be discovered and spread to the mass.  Path is bits of content for a few people, not the masses.

A first that I can identify.

Reminds me of my favorite Steve Prefontaine quote: “I am going to work so that it’s a pure guts race. In the end, if it is, I’m the only one that can win it.”

I want to voice my support for this move.  This isn’t about a wide audience or any time of syndication.  It is about a personal, one to one feeling expression of place and community.   I’ve said a startup has nothing to do with the interface, but with the users behind it.

Does this leave a lot to be desired (discovery, sharing, utility beyond relationship)?  You bet.  It could sink them.  Their focus is razor sharp right now, and I just love that.  My nerdy startup heart is enjoying the early days.

The path to developing relationships is Path.  The gutsy strategy and team lead me to think they are going to be a powerhouse.  The early community is there, and starting to thrive.

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