Though not as well known as other founders, Dalton built a great product in picplz. Unfortunately for his team they were just unable to match Instagram’s growth. Dalton’s response to criticism here reads like an entrepreneurial manifesto. These thoughts can be viewed in a grandiose light and are thus easy to ascribe to. But only when you walk the path do you realize the truths here and the emotional investment that prompted these words.
Anyone reading this article needs to remember to never be afraid of putting yourself out there because you are afraid of failure.
I saw the market first, I created picplz, and I went for it. I was a huge believe in the mobile photo sharing opportunity, and I went for it with all of my heart. Clearly, picplz didn’t win, but I have ZERO shame or regret for doing my best.
When I read articles like these, which are about myself, my company and people that I know well, I can’t help but feel vitriol aimed at me for DARING to create, launch and raise funding for picplz. I am not clear on what exactly people want, an apology for trying?
The fact is, I saw the writing on the wall that we wouldn’t win early and pivoted out of photo sharing which I had ~90% of my series A cash still in the bank. It certainly seems like that was the right move, but all of this press makes it look like pivoting was the wrong call(?) The press I read is written in such a way that it assumed that the A16Z investment is dead and my entire company should just be written off to zero today. That is bullshit. If I started to take press like this too seriously I might as well just dissolve my company and stop coming into work.
I say this to the hn comminity: never be afraid of failure. No one knows what will happen. All of this arm-chair quarterbacking is a waste of time. Stop reading this kind of crap and instead put your energy into doing your best work. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, but if you give yourself the opportunity to win enough times, you WILL be successful.
Dalton Caldwell, Founder of picplz
There is so much good advice packed into these few paragraphs. Often the smallest ideas grow and grow into a larger vision, and big vision companies with vaults of cash crash and burn. He’s right — no one knows what will happen. But this fact should never stop you from trying. The unknown outcome is what makes this adventure so exciting.