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November 20, 2012

Unfortunate Color App Officially Shutting Down by Year's End

By Colleen Lynch, TMCnet Contributor

Ever heard of Color.com? It’s okay if the answer is no, considering the website is now shutting down due to its lack of notoriety or success.  The website is a social photo-and-video-sharing service run by Color Labs in Silicon Valley, and its story is long and tumultuous, although it now seems to be at an end.

The company started with initial excitement and high hopes, as well as a high price tag (News - Alert): without any strong concept, traction with the public, or revenue generated, Color.com was funded as a startup for an astronomical $41 million.

Why so pricey? Well, the confidence Color.com boasted was pretty well-founded, considering it was created and set to be run by a veritable dream team of previously successful entrepreneurs in the tech industry, including Bill Nguyen and Peter Pham. Nguyen created the online music discovery company Lala, which he sold to Apple in 2009, and Pham helped Photobucket (News - Alert) and BillShrink attain substantial success before agreeing to co-found Color.com with Nguyen.

The company’s problems began early, with Pham being quickly fired, and just a couple of months ago rumors surfaced that Nguyen no longer runs the company on a day-to-day basis as he used to.

Despite countless other theories dating back to March as to why the company was failing, or whether it could rise to take on the likes of Instagram, the truth was never quite clear--that is, until now.

According to the statement posted on Color.com’s website on Monday, the startup is now a shutdown, effective December 31. “We hope you’ve enjoyed sharing your stories via real-time video. Regretfully, the app will no longer be available after 12/31/2012,” the statement read.

While it has been suggested that Apple (News - Alert) may acquire the company’s engineering staff, no mention was made of this in the company’s statement. Interestingly, neither was the reported lawsuit filed by Adam Witherspoon, one of Color.com’s first employees. Witherspoon is filing his lawsuit against Color Labs and Nguyen, claiming he was subjected to “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” while working there.

So although the company is shutting down, Color’s dramatic and long-winded story may not be at its final end just yet--we will have to see, depending on how Witherspoon’s case goes.




Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli
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