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The Hashable Post-Mortem – Just Why Did it Die?

The announce­ment made by Hash­able CEO Michael Yavon­ditte that the infor­ma­tion exchange app would wind up at the end of July seems to have come as bit of a sur­prise; but is it real­ly? To those look­ing for social or dig­i­tal media jobs, the col­lapse of the com­pa­ny will remind them that suc­cess­ful as it is, the dig­i­tal econ­o­my is not inde­struc­tible; but it will also give them an oppor­tu­ni­ty to learn from the mis­takes of others.

With the death of a much-laud­ed prod­uct that was only launched 18 months ago, it seems that the ghosts of the of the late-Nineties Dot Com Bub­ble are still tak­ing vic­tims and are lurk­ing in the machines of each and every Inter­net, tablet and smart­phone user who choos­es which apps they will, or will not, install and which infor­ma­tion they wish to share.

As a medi­um by which peo­ple were encour­aged to con­nect, share and save rela­tion­ship infor­ma­tion, Hash­able was tout­ed as the death knell for the busi­ness card, an app that would track and record each and every social con­nec­tion you made, enabling you to show­case who you’ve just met, to who you’ve (prob­a­bly) met before. This way, you can grow your social and busi­ness cir­cle and earn the pres­ti­gious ‘Hash Creds’ while you’re doing it. This would cre­ate VIP Hash­able users whose con­nec­tions were supe­ri­or or more pro­lif­ic than others.

Hash­able – Was Exact­ly Was It?

Type Hash­able into any search engine and it won’t be long before you find a blog rant­i­ng about the var­i­ous down­falls of the brand. It seems it didn’t make many friends.

In the line of fire stands the company’s triv­i­al­is­ing of real encoun­ters and exploit­ing them for pres­tige, and the fact that they seemed to have turned real-time human rela­tion­ships into a game with win­ners and losers. It also suf­fered from an iden­ti­ty cri­sis. Was it a social net­work pure­ly for fun? Or was it, as was sug­gest­ed, a way of devel­op­ing busi­ness net­work­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties? It seems it didn’t real­ly know and it paid the ulti­mate price.

Plus, why would peo­ple use a ser­vice that is already pro­vid­ed by Face­book, Twit­ter and Linkedin? Per­haps it wasn’t an iden­ti­ty cri­sis, but sim­ply an ill-thought out busi­ness mod­el. After all, in the face of such com­pe­ti­tion even the most bril­liant and effec­tive prod­uct would struggle.

So What Now?

Accord­ing to Yavon­ditte the team behind Hash­able will be return­ing to what they know best – adver­tis­ing. Yavon­ditte will be tak­ing his ‘hash creds’ into the world of mobile adver­tis­ing but is remain­ing tight-lipped about the fin­er details – although he is insist­ing that this is not a piv­ot, but rather an entire­ly new com­pa­ny. How­ev­er he does have exten­sive expe­ri­ence of this sec­tor as for­mer CEO of Qui­go, an ad start-up that sold to AOL in 2007 for a report­ed $360million.


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