This was written before Tr.im reversed the decision and decided to keep open. However the issues discusses are still valid – no money, no business.
Tr.im announces that it is ceasing the service of trimming the size of a URL. The blog post says that they have not been able to find a way of making money out of tr.im (I do not like the word monetise) and they are being hit by the cost of running and developing the system. They have lost out in the race to provide the service to Twitter.
Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons’ Den fame says that the he has lost count of the times he has said “It’s not a business, so I’m out”. He means that “any budding entrepreneur must have a robust business plan and clear profit-making projections for their enterprise to stand a chance of success”.
The Dragons only pick the easy companies in which to invest; ones with sales and profits. The flaw normally being that the entrepreneur does not have what it takes to turn the initial success into a large company. This gives the Dragons easy pickings after the really hard yards have been won.
It will be sometime, if ever, before the Dragons have the nerve to join the angels in Cambridge – you do not have to be a member of the Cambridge Angels – backing ideas a long way from the market and the with sketchy business plans. It is a very high risk world investing in people and technologies ahead of the game. It would be fun to present a Google, Flickr or Twitter type deal to the Dragons let alone ARM, CSR and ARTVPS.
But where we can agree with Bannatyne is his condemnation of smoking. Seen as fun when I was young, the consequences are well known nowadays. Bannatyne quotes figures of 20% of the population (presumably the UK and not his beloved Scotland) smoking with many more affected by passive smoking.
In the geek world in Cambridge, smoking is almost taboo so perhaps we do have something in common with those fearsome dragons after all even if we may have to tr.im their egos!