Spotplex can't find its groove, forced to close
Social news startup, Spotplex, closed its doors today.
After over a year of operation, Spotplex is closing up shop, according to a message on their site. The company states that, "We regret to inform you that Spotplex is going offline. This was a very hard decision for us and we are sure you will miss the service as much as we do."
I wrote about Spotplex, back in November after having a conversation with their CEO, Doyon Kim (previously founded Dialpad, which sold to Yahoo 2005). At the time, I expressed concerns with the way that their site operates. In order for the content from a site to be included on Spotplex, the publisher of that content had to install a code snippit on their site, which also tracked analytics. The most trafficked stories were then displayed on Spotplex's homepage. I think that this restriction severely limited the amount of content that was included on the site, thus drastically reducing its value. This may not have been the best approach, in comparison to sites like Digg and Techmeme which rely on community input and not publisher participation.
TechCrunch is reporting that the reason for Spotplex's shuttering is "lack of adequate funding." Whether that means that they failed to find additional investors for the startup or that their money was poorly managed is unclear right now. I tend to think that the lack of funding might be attributed to the site not catching on as well as expected.
There is no doubt that Spotplex had talented and experienced people behind it, but, in my opinion, there were some key flaws in the site's core functionality, which really hurt them in the end.