id345 is keeping it real

Our buddies over at id345 must have been bored one night. That’s how long it took them to rip out the mashup to track the movements of the cast of MTV’s “The Real World – Denver“. You can sign up for email or SMS alerts to be kept up to date with real time spottings of the cast. You can even text your own spottings to a special number which will update the site.

I’ve only met Danny (of id345) a few times but he’s clearly a guy that gets it. I want to take a second and talk about the business model presented by Take a look at the site for a second. Where are the ads that support the site? Where is the premium subscription service offering? Heck, the site is only half functional.

At first glance, a business model is nowhere to be found. One reason is that Danny and the id345 crew are smart enough to realize that ads and crap like that just don’t pay the bills unless you’re a top site. When you look at RealWorldSpotting, your impression is that it was done purely for fun. It wants nothing in return from you. It’s so half baked that it was clearly done by some kid at 4 in the morning (which appears to have been the case). It has the cool factor, and you wonder who did it and why.

The point is that people are talking about it (here too, and literally, here). You see, id345 can use something simple like this to create some mindshare that they are among the fastest, smartest, and brightest web geeks in Colorado. I’m not a big real world fan or user of the site, but it has worked on me. I bet it’s worked on you too, to some degree. id345 can shout at you from downtown Denver or can advertise in the yellow pages, but they won’t stand out in this lack of attention economy. Before you’ll ever work with or recommend them, you first have to have a reason to remember them, so they keep giving you reasons. Now you’ll think of them.

Hopefully by now you are asking yourself “So what is id345’s business model?” Well, they build web stuff, and they like to do it for a piece of the upside. They call it “idea consulting.” They’ll work with you if you have an idea (who doesn’t?) but need a business model, lack development talent or can’t afford to bring it in house.

Danny told me today that “It’s not necessarily just development that we offer. If someone comes to us with just the core of an idea, we can brainstorm and help solidify the concept. We can even help put a team together around their business.”

The only criticism that I can offer id345 on this is that they don’t make this clear on ther web properties. For example, doesn’t lead you to the main id345 web site. And nothing on the id345 web site lets you know what sort of opportunities they’re open to exploring. You have to know Danny (or one of the id345 crew) personally to know that this is the case.

file under: Blog, Startups