The new SmugMug is awesome. Can this little company beat Yahoo and others?
All you have to do is see how excited photographers like +Thomas Hawk
or +Trey Ratcliff https://plus.google.com/u/0/+TreyRatcliff/posts/PSfCYsviPnh
or +Karen Hutton https://plus.google.com/u/0/+KarenHutton/posts/ijQEXqr2eZZ
or others who are great photographers here on Google+ (a search for "SmugMug" here this morning shows a bunch of others: https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/SmugMug
I shot these photos in a demo that founders +Don MacAskill
and +Chris MacAskill
gave me last week. Their wives (and dogs) were sitting on the floor, demonstrating just what a family affair this company is. I don't remember any other startup having such a family feel to it.
Which brings me to this point: can this company continue to find a way to compete with much bigger and better funded companies? I think so. Why: they are attracting great developer and customer service talent that other companies aren't. The singular focus they have on pro and advanced amateur photographers gives the service a focus that other places, including Google+ or Facebook, er, Instagram, will never be able to match.
I wish every startup entrepreneur could visit SmugMug. The lessons on how to build a company and not just a cool product are everywhere (it's very rare you'll see a cool product come out of a dysfunctional company).
I'd say to start with the wives and the dogs on the floor. That says volumes about the kind of company they are building and the product on the screen reflects those values.
I wish Silicon Valley had more companies like SmugMug.