Nick Baum took a huge risk in 2011 when he decided to leave his comfortable job at Google to work on a startup.
He had been with the company for roughly five years, working on a range of products spanning YouTube, Google Chrome, and Android, but decided to ditch to start WhereBerry, a social events planning company.
As the year wore on, Baum realised WhereBerry wasn’t gaining the sort of traction he wanted. WhereBerry’s future felt in flux.
“It’s always a tough balance,” Baum tells Business Insider. “You don’t wanna give up too early, especially when it’s your idea and you built it from scratch. But you also don’t want to sit around forever.”
Baum remembers exactly how he realised that it was time to kill WhereBerry.
“I saw that if I didn’t do anything on it, my friends and other users wouldn’t,” he says. “I could generate activity on it, but the activity didn’t happen naturally.”
Even though the people could get excited about the product, they didn’t feel like they needed to use it on a regular basis. So, Baum made the tough decision to shut WhereBerry down. But despite WhereBerry’s flop, he wasn’t ready to go back to a “real” job at a bigger company just yet. And so StoryWorth was born.
StoryWorth aims to bring families closer through story sharing. Once a week, the company sends an evocative prompt question to participants and then stores their answers.
“In a way, I think that my situation with WhereBerry is a really good benchmark for StoryWorth,” he says. “Right away, it felt very different. If I leave for a month and don’t touch it, people will keep using it because they care about it. I think it was very helpful to have that contrast where right away, I could be like, ‘Oh, this is what it feels like to build something that people actually wanna use.'”
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