If you're looking for a textbook case of the proverbial apple not falling far from that equally proverbial tree, it would be hard to do better than the experience of the Dodges.
In 2000, Don Dodge was the vice president of product development of Napster. For Dodge, who had left a safe post at AltaVista to join the digital music upstart, it was a roll of the dice. Napster was a renegade outfit that was under siege by the music industry, whose lawyers ultimately forced Napster to shut its doors. But Dodge was following through on a bet on a future era where the digital downloading of music files would be mainstream. He was proved right, though his timing was off.
Fast forward to 2012. Dodge now works at Google as a developer advocate. But now it's his two sons, Darren and Derek, who have been smitten with that same entrepreneurial bug. Earlier today, the brothers' app About Last Night officially launched at the Techcrunch Disrupt conference, an industry confab for Internet startups. The brothers, who have bootstrapped the app to this point, are looking to raise $400K in a seed round and finding nightlife sponsors.
The app bills itself as a photo-centric and location based way to get a handle on the hottest places in town (or at least the most popular places to go.) Users vote up the most popular events and you can follow favorite nightlife places as well as friends.
The genesis, according to Dodge pere, came about they were working together on a company -- one still in stealth mode -- and happened on the idea for About Last Night while looking for the best places to go out at night. They wanted to do a mobile app that could use the same backend and infrastructure for the first company, according to Dodge. Four months later, they had a product ready to go.
Darren was living in Hollywood, but didn't know anyone, so it was hard to find the best places to go. That is why About Last Night is more location based...all about the nightspots. So, you can follow a night club like Ruby Skye, and know everything that is going on there. Everyone who posts a picture from Ruby Skye will be in his ALN feed. If Ruby Skye wants to announce who will be playing this weekend, or offer happy hour specials...that will show up in the stream too. So, nightlife venues and brands can socially engage with their customers. A true social network for nightlife.
OK, that's Dad talking. Still, it's a great story. (Here's more from the Boston Globe.)