Sure there are plenty of video apps out there and there are plenty of photo apps out there. Not it’s time to put everything together to tell a story. Scrapbooking grew to an amazing popularity in the 1990’s. There were scrapbooking classes, scrapbooking stores and more. There are still a few brick and mortar scrapbooking businesses, but like everything else scrapbooking has taken to the internet.
Monthsof.me is a Washington DC area startup that helps you collect, and organize all your photos, video and other media to tell stories that you can share with friends and family.
You can choose to tell the story of your life or stories of life’s precious moments. Baby’s first day, a wedding, the first day of school, soccer season, there are so many ways that monthsof.me would come in handy.
Monthsof.me came about after co-founder RJ Johnston had his fourth child and came to the realization that he had hundreds of albums of digital photos and videos across several sites, but none of them really told a story. He immediately went to work on monthsof.me. Johnston has a varied background mostly in sales, even government sales and a performance at the rock and roll hall of fame. Now he’s turned hie business acumen to the home and the family. Monthsof.me is a platform that people everywhere will find meaningful.
Check out our interview below with Johnston about monthsof.me and the hot startup ecosystem in our nation’s capital.
MonthsOf.Me is home to visual stories about life’s moments where members easily organize their digital life, share their stories and collaborate on content. Media such as pictures, text and videos which has been shared on existing social networks or stored on their desktop or portable devices is chronologically organized and available for creating visual stories. Members create visual stories to share moments around specific topics such as births, ballgames, weddings, concerts, and events.
RJ Johnston has a life-long passion for information technology. In 1995 he started a website promoting electronic music which quickly became an industry staple earning international notoriety. Prior to founding MonthsOf.Me, RJ developed applications for Government, cyber security and location tracking companies. RJ has held executive positions at nationwide mortgage lenders, built multiple sales and operation centers across the country and even performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Josh Abraham has engineered multi-tiered network infrastructures supporting millions of users. As CIO of a Hosting Provider, Josh was responsible for the delivery of media in a resource efficient manner across multiple networks on global scale. He has trainedand managed teams of developers, support personnel and network engineers.
Dan C. started his first start-up in 2003, but that, as all new inexperienced entrepreneurs, didn’t get him very far. In 2004, gaining a bit more experience he start his second venture: along with two former colleagues from PCNet , they start `Internet Link`, which goes through the phases of being a Wireless (WiMax) , to DSL provider, and finally becomes a FTTH (fiber to the home) provider. After a successful exit two years later, Dan ventures to Africa, working with local telecom companies in Angola, and shortly after, for BP. In 2008 he crosses the ocean (yet again), to work with a small telecom company.
Virginia, DC Metro Area
Vibrant and growing. Our friends at Fortify.vc have been actively working to accelerate this growth and we’re proud to be a part of it.
The idea for MonthsOf.Me (internally known as “MoM”) came shortly after the birth of RJ’s fourth child, Genevieve. Like most parents RJ was taking hundreds of photos and videos to document Genevieve’s early months and share them with family and friends. It didn’t take long for him to realize existing networks were not designed to fulfill his need; they lacked privacy, organizational options and provided little to no personalization. MonthsOf.Me was born.
MoM aims to solve three problems, 1) Easy organization of memories posted on multiple services and devices. 2) Simplify the selective sharing process without negatively impacting relationships (ie – in one click with no additional setup you can connect with a person and show them only public items). 3) My favorite, personalizing groups of memories into what we call visual stories. Members can group selective memories into a story, share and/or invite friends to collaborate on the story and personalize the display similar to a Tumblr blog.
Franks Redhot Sauce
Whether to launch early on a sub-par UI or wait. This was a tough decision, we had all the backend functionality ready to go but our front-end design and user experience was awful (IMHO). Most advice you get and articles you read say launch and release early and often. I absolutely agree with this Philosophy however, I also believe in making a good first impression. This was an internal battle (with myself) whether or not we should launch and keep improving. The decision was made to revamp and launch. This is what we’ve done, I think it was the right decision, our testers have responded positively and commented on the improved approach. To be taken seriously as a company on the web these days UI is up front and center… if people don’t like how you look they will click away without giving the application a chance. We’ll see how it all turns out.
Just one? My gosh, creating a startup is the most challenging endeavors one will undertake. Personally, having to take a step back to move two forward. At the end of 2011 we were out of funds, had several thousand dollars in legal and design bills, I had no personal income coming in and had used every ounce of savings to get us to that point. We also were expecting our fifth child in December, had birthdays and of course the holidays to provide for my four other children. It was a dark time but we made it through. I had to pick up side work to support my family, pay the bills and most importantly continue to move the product forward. Some people might ask why we didn’t simply go raise more funding, and we did this a little bit but personally I’m not going to ask someone to invest for the first time or follow on’s until I’m confident we can deliver on our promises. At that point I was questioning just about everything to do with the business including my personal capabilities. They say sometimes you have to fall down to pick yourself up and move forward. This was a tough exercise but one personally I’m stronger for having gone through and in the end we’re delivering a far superior product. I hope once your readers visit monthsof.me and test it out they will agree.
Hire our contractors! We’ve been blessed with finding some amazing people and they know the first thing we’ll do is hire them. After that continue focusing on our UI in a tablet first way and build out native applications for various platforms including television.
We have one more large release to push out and then open the doors for people to sign up. Actually they can right now by selecting login and create account on our site but buyer beware there is still a lot of front end-user experience flow we need to release and bugs to clear.