GPhotospace: Classic Example of Feature as a Product

GPhotospaceUpon reading the press release for GPhotospace, I thought I’d stumbled upon the Random Web 2.0 Business Plan Generator. See if you can guess which one of these pitches is real:

  • It’s a productivity site that uses RSS and tagging to do aggregation in a community.
  • It’s a music site that uses Flash and VoIP to do publishing in a community.
  • It’s a productivity site that uses Ruby on Rails and VoIP to do data mining in a utility software package.
  • It’s a Firefox add-on that leverages Gmail for free private photo sharing and supports sustainability.

If you guessed the last one, you’re right. If that realization hurts your brain because you’ve seen too many pitches like that in the last few years, I feel your pain.

GPhotospace is a Firefox add-on that lets you upload photos into the 7GB+ of free storage in Gmail, and then email them to people. That’s it, that’s all it does. Oh, except resizing them, it does that too.

Is it legit for them to be using Gmail’s storage? History says yes; there have been different utilities for storing files with Gmail since it first launched. Google has taken issue with them, but future policies could change. If GPhotospace were to grow a sizeable user base, Google might be displeased with someone piggybacking their storage and copying their interface style.

Says founder Colin How, “I was on my phone with my brother while he was getting started with GPhotospace. Within seconds he had selected 170 megs of images and was sharing them with me. The speed is the difference maker.”

That’s great for the brother and his super amazing Internet connection, but for the rest of us on regular home broadband connections, 170MB of photos will take 25+ minutes to upload, just like with every other photo sharing service. No difference maker.

If their strategy is to get acquired by Google, I have a horrible realization for them: my Gmail already has a “Photos” link to Picasa Web Albums, the online photo sharing site that Google already has. That works in any browser, offers the choice of public or private sharing, and many more features. That’s right, it has multiple features, instead of just being a feature.

Colin How and John Harley, founders of GPhotospace: Mankind has reached a breaking point, our economy is dying, and our environment is dying. We’ve begun the slide into an era where we will need the full potential of human knowledge and ability to refactor our society to a space that doesn’t involve fraudulent economics or destroying our home planet. There is amazing potential for rebirth into something new and better, but only if we can reject lies and embrace true consciousness. None of that East Van hippie-rambling may mean anything to you, but my point is that it’s not doing anyone any good to be working on fail-apps that are destined for failure.

Throwing in an ad banner for Africa is a cute attempt at goodwill, but is neither an original idea nor meaningful social change.