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Out of the picture: why the world's best photo startup Everpix is going out of business | The Verge

Stashed in: Mobile!, Evernote, Amazon Web Services, Startup Lessons, Path, Monetization, Camera

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The founders acknowledge they made mistakes along the way. They spent too much time on the product and not enough time on growth and distribution. The first pitch deck they put together for investors was mediocre. They began marketing too late. They failed to effectively position themselves against giants like Apple and Google, who offer fairly robust — and mostly free — Everpix alternatives. And while the product wasn't particularly difficult to use, it did have a learning curve and required a commitment to entrust an unknown startup with your life's memories — a hard sell that Everpix never got around to making much easier.

Rimer put it a bit differently: "Having a great product is not the only thing that ultimately makes a company successful."

On the other hand, they created a product that people genuinely love. The iOS app has a 4.5 star average rating, out of more than 1,000 reviews. About half of free users return every week, and more than 60 percent return each month. And 12.4 percent of free users wound up subscribing to the service, compared with a rate of about 6 percent for Evernote, which also sells its service on a freemium basis.

Why would they go out of business if they have 6800 paying customers?

Oh. Amazon Web Services pricing.

The immediate concern in the room was a forthcoming bill from Amazon Web Services, which hosts the 400 million photos stored with Everpix; the team estimated the bill would be about $35,000. "Our AWS bill is going to be due on the third. We’re not going to be able to pay," said Pierre-Olivier Latour, who had the idea for Everpix four years ago after a vacation left him struggling to organize the hundreds of photos he took on the trip. Behind him, a poster advertised San Francisco's minimum wage of $10.55 an hour, which he had been paying his employees for the past month. "Amazon is going to reach out to us saying, 'Your card doesn’t work.'" He paused. "So that’s going to be fun."

In two short years, Everpix has gone from a dream shared by two French graphics experts to one of the world's best solutions for managing a large library of photos. It attracted 55,000 users and earned enough each month to cover the cost of the service, if not employees' salaries.

I guess Path has problems of its own:

But while its talented team obsessed over the look and features of its product, user growth failed to keep pace. Starting in June, Latour tried to raise $5 million to give Everpix more time to become profitable. When those efforts faltered, he began pursuing an acquisition. Everpix had tentatively agreed last month to be acquired by Path, according to a source close to the social network. But Path's executive team killed the deal at the last minute, leaving Everpix adrift.

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