What makes a random chat website work is simple; you need founders that live and breathe their website. That’s exactly what Airtime lacked. Airtime, the infamous random cam site that was founded by the very popular founders of Napster along with one of the co-founders of Facebook, was supposed to be the next big thing on the internet. Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning had big plans for Airtime and thought it could grow as big as Facebook, YouTube and all the other giants of the web. Airtime video chat failed miserably regardless of the high hopes the two founders had for it.
The Napster founders invested just over 30 million dollars in what was supposed to become the leader in the random cam industry. Holding press conferences, spending months building it and even getting celebrities like Alicia Keys and Jimmy Fallon to invest in their idea still wasn’t enough. Airtime lasted a mere couple of months before plunging to the ground. Chatrandom on the other hand continued to experience growth, which has baffled many people. So what caused Airtime to fail so miserably when a website like Chatrandom was able to continue to excel in the exact same industry?
Airtime simply wasn’t created by the right people. Wait though, wasn’t created by Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning; two of the biggest names in the world of website creations? It’s true, Airtime was created by big names and that was exactly the problem. The idea probably came to them as they sipped a $3000 bottle of wine on their private jet to Cabo San Lucas. These guys are simply not like the average person and they don’t know how to related to average people anymore. Chatrandom excelled when they failed because the creators of Chatrandom are average people. We know what our users want because we’re just like you. Airtime went from over 50 thousand weekly users to under 5000 weekly users in the space of one month.
Airtime was created for discussing G rated subjects. Talking about sports, recipes and the weather just isn’t what people want to do with random strangers. People want to push their boundaries on the internet; they want to be able to do things that they simply wouldn’t do in real life. People want to get naked and have sexual encounters; sex sells. People want to live their craziest fantasies and experience with the other sex. People want to have exciting fun; the internet allows us to do so and discussing boring information with strangers on the internet isn’t want people want to do. Airtime, being a G rated random video chat website, failed because they set too many restrictions.
Chatrandom grew as Airtime fell to the ground because of the lack of restrictions and the amazing features that Chatrandom had to offer. Sure the design of Chatrandom may not have been as great as the design over at Airtime, but the fact that you can get nude and stroke your genitals without getting banned made us better. Chatting with only girls on cam or even experiencing Gay only cams were functions that allowed people to test their limits, surpass their boundaries and live a double life that would simply be unaccepted in normal society.
Regardless of how much money you invest into something and regardless of how popular the founder is; if you don’t understand the public’s needs and desires, you’ll never go far. Airtime offered users nothing new; Facebook and Skype did the exact same thing as Airtime. Watch the Airtime commercial to see just how much marketing dollars were spent on building HD commercials and more to promote a terrible idea.