When Facebook paid $1 billion dollars for Instagram back in April 2012, just about every developer I know said that they could have developed Instagram in a weekend. My response always was that it was not so much the mechanics of the code as it was the mechanics of the business that got Instagram that payday.
I was reminded of this in spades at this morning’s Innovate Pasadena weekly coffee speaker series, today featuring a brief but enlightening conversation with Miriam Diwan of the forthcoming Now Move Me app.
What struck me as most interesting about Miriam’s talk was that she barely mentioned what the app does, instead focussing on an area which is clearly her strong suit: the business. What was interesting about this is that it wasn’t until the Q&A when someone asked what her app does that anybody really realized she hadn’t talked about it.
And I won’t talk about it now, because what is fascinating here is less the app itself than Miriam’s business savvy, determination, and nerve. As an example, six months in and without a single line of code to demonstrate, she orchestrated a meeting with the head of Mergers and Acquisitions of Zillow.com. How did that happen? “I went to a conference and met the speaker and she called me up the next day and said the CEO of Zillow was in town and we had to meet. So we met and he introduced me to the head of M&A.” Wow.
Let me repeat and put this in bold: without a single line of code to demonstrate.
Clearly she’s got the business chops to make this happen. It sure seems that all that’s standing between her and some Instagram-like payday is a product.
But, here’s the thing: she will absolutely need a product. Because, while it might have been the mechanics of business that got Facebook to buy Instagram, they certainly didn’t fork over the big B without first reviewing the code. Miriam seems to be on a great trajectory as long as, when the time comes, she’s got a very viable product to back up her deal-making prowess.
You can sign up for a beta view of the app at http://www.nowmove.me.