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Geni Launch Crashes | palmIT

Geni Launch Crashes

Yesterday a TechCrunch post pointed me towards a Flash-based family tree creator called Geni. I’m into this kind of thing so I went off to take the new product for a spin. Unfortunately, Geni wasn’t prepared for the traffic that came their way when they were picked up by TechCrunch, Lifehacker, and other sites. Yesterday, I was willing to cut them some slack but they’re still having problems today and I’m loosing patience as I imagine others are. Geni would have been much better off with a limited and more controlled release. This isn’t the right way to do it – you only get so many chances to impress the early adopters and opinion leaders. A release like this leaves people wondering if they should trust you with their data and it will be hard for them to get past the initial bad impression. A lot of web X.0 startups are just a flash in the pan – Geni’s flash is underexposing the picture.

Updated 01/19/07 – still having technical difficulties

Image: Tried to login 01/19/07

Updated 01/21/07: Arrington agrees with my early assessment – TechCrunch Geni Overwhelmed with Early Popularity – notice the last part of the permalink address "/geni-blew-it/." I finally managed to start building my family tree last night using Geni and there’s a lot I like about the service. If they can get past the technical hurdles Geni is sure to be very popular.

Updated 01/22/07: mike@geni.com keeps sending me this very generic, not all that informative, automated message. I’ve received 3 exact copies of this message. Suggestion: make it more friendly, informative, and a bit more sincere.

We received an email last week notifying us that the Geni web site had difficulty drawing your tree.  We believe the problem is now resolved.  Thanks for using Geni!


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palmIT is authored by Cale Bruckner [LinkedIn], President at Concentric Sky, and former SVP Product Development at Palo Alto Software.

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