What Was Loccit.com ?
Loccit automatically pulled together all your memories from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Instagram and other networks and created a personal and private diary for you to keep forever. It could be viewed online, on mobile and if you wanted, you could buy a printed version
Why Did We Make It?
I have a box of photos (remember when we had to print photos?!), ticket stubs, notes from friends and other sentimental bits. It sits in my loft (attic) and is one of the only things that has moved with me to every house since I lived with my folks.
Now, we don't print photos, we don't keep diaries, tickets are emails, letters and notes are SMSs, emails, IMs, Facebook messages … we have nothing that reminds us of the past. When you're 80, what will you have to look back at?
Facebook Announced Timeline
The original Loccit.com was released in February 2011. We'd built Facebook Timeline, but 9 months before Timeline existed.
Timeline was launched in September 2011. The speech by MZ was incredibly close to my original investment pitch. There were sentences and points that were almost identical. Facebook had realised the same opportunity that I had, that this mass of data was an incredible personal history.
We couldn't compete with Facebook and we didn't want to try.
We decided to go after the personal greetings card market. In early 2012 we had the most advanced social web-to-print product creation technologies in the market (and actually still do, they're not online currently though). We could automatically create posters, calendars, photobooks and more using your favourite photos pulled in from Facebook.
We'd seen the advertising spend of Moonpig and other large competitors and knew that we couldn't out-spend them, couldn't out-shout them, so, we had to out-think them.
We created some very clever (even if we do say so ourselves) viral marketing gadgets during the purchase process, some viral Facebook apps and let them loose. Things were shared hugely, but we never achieved true viral; perpetual sharing with exponential awareness driven.
We didn't manage to achieve traction or sales that were going to sustain the business. With marketing spend, we could have. But, we would have needed several million pounds to get there.
The Next Pivot
We looked at where we could go with the runway we had left. We talked to loads of our users, got out on the street and assessed the landscape. We went back to our roots.
There was overwhelming feedback that suggested there was a call for a great simple personal diary app online. Our active users were proactively writing diary entries at least once a week.
We re-created the interface as a book-like diary with turning pages and served that basic need.
The diary was successful and we continued to load 100 odd users per week with spikes when we hit the press for one reason or another. The reality of the situation was, though, that we didn't have the cash to pay for users and at the rate of subscription we weren't going to hit 1m users in a hurry.
So Where Now?
We made the service paid for. We started at $2 / month. People, we found, would pay for the service. Just over 1.5% would oblige. That's a pretty good conversion rate, but, there was a cash gap.
The business was burning cash every month and there was none left, so, for now, we've had to switch the service off. We're open to conversations with investors.
What About My Diary?!
This page was very kindly developed by two of our tech team @manavo and @kasiazien. You can download your diary, save it on your hard drive and keep your memories forever. Do tweet at them and thank them!
My Prediction For The Future Of Diaries Online...
If I was Google, I'd be looking at this space very hard right now. The deep integration of Google Plus with the Android OS makes the personal history space a good one to aim at. If I were Google, I'd be creating a Loccit.
There are some good new independant apps out there who I wish the best of luck. But ...
We haven't stopped looking at the space. We have a lot of user insight and some ideas for a new service. If you have some too that you'd like us to include or some feedback for us, tweet at me (@lukeaikman) and I'll get in touch.
• To Our Users •
Thank you. We had a roller coster ride with Loccit.com.
We enjoyed every moment of it and still believe in the concept. Sadly it didn't come off for us this time. We vested a lot of time and money trying to make it work for you and us, but unfortunately we failed.
We're forever grateful for the experience you gave us and certainly hope that you find a great way to accomplish the same thing Loccit provided.