Scott Purcell is one of the founders of a six person Denver-based startup called Web Biographies, which lets you keep your life story in one place for future generations. Scott explained to me that this is a great use of what’s called Life Caching. Like so many great companies, Web Biographies was started because the founders simply wanted something that didn’t seem to exist yet.
“I realized I knew nothing about my grandfather, and that unless I started writing my life story then my kids and grandkids would know nothing about me. I’d be forgotten. As if I never even existed. That terrified me, so I looked around the web for a place to start writing my stories and organizing my photos and video…but it didn’t exist. So I started the company.” – Scott Purcell
When I asked Scott if this was really just a blog on steroids, he fired off a PowerPoint to me as if he had answered that question a million times.
“Really it comes down to organization and timeframe. Blogs just aren’t built to Life Cache.” – Scott Purcell
You may have heard of a venture funded company called OurStory that is addressing a similar market opportunity as Web Biographies. When I asked Scott about OurStory he proceeded to ramble off the reasons why Web Biographies is a much more capable solution (better organization, unlimited chapters, family trees, better searchability…) and then quipped “There are 72 million boomers out there, and over 6,000 people die each and every day, so there’s plenty of room for everyone.”
I took Web Biographies for a spin, and while it’s not there yet on aesthetics, it does seem to have more features that the competitive products that I could find. You can essentially keep your life story here through a combination of blog-like posts, photos, family tree entries, etc. Unlike blogs, however, you can easily organize these things into Chapters and subchapters of your life, and even order a book when you’re ready.
Although Scott says that the pricing model is in flux, the plan is that you’ll get a lifetime account for $99 and up, depending on how much storage you’ll need. Once you’re dead and gone, the company promises to keep your information online for eternity at no charge (or at least until Web 9.0, when major compatibility problems will be introduced in FireFox 9.0). Scott also hinted that although he expects the consumer oriented site to do well, he feels like there is a market beyond this to provide private label solutions.