Last week, we got our first true glimpse into the über-secret world of Akoha (formerly Project Ojibwe, aka Austin Hill’s new project), after they presented the project at TechCrunch50.
I find myself feeling for Akoha something similar to what I felt about Standout Jobs when it launched in public beta: disappointed.
Not heartbroken. Not “wtf this is crap,” but more a feeling of “a team of computer programmers spent months in super-secret hiding for this?”
Added to that was the fact that both did a lot of talking about supporting the local community, but when it came to actually launching, they both took off for the other side of the border.
Based on the presentation, the comic on the website and Roberto Rocha’s article, Akoha is some sort of game where you buy cards and have to do what the cards say. And then you go online and tell everyone you did what the cards say. And then you feel good.
Mark MacLeod points out some of the issues Akoha will have to deal with, like marketing, user retention and monetization. I’ll also add authentication: How do we know that someone’s claim to have done something is true?
But the biggest problem, I think, will be keeping a critical mass that goes beyond the fad. People will be interested, at first, but without that Facebook-like regular activity and new information, I can see people using Akoha less and less until the playing cards start collecting dust at the back of the closet.
But then, maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. TechCrunch liked it, as did Scoble. So maybe it is the next big thing.
Austin Hill’s Akoha project just announced that they have $1.9 million in funding thanks to a dozen angel investors.
For those who don’t know, Akoha is … uhh … what does the “About Us” page say again? Something about fun and play and sharing and making the world a better place.
It could be a social-networking site for fundraisers or it could be a giant multiplayer Pong game with the Sesame Street theme playing all the time. They’re still kind of being coy about it.
I’m not much connected to the investor/rich-people market (if I did, I’d probably have a better apartment and/or life), so the names don’t quite impress me. The one I do recognize is Jonathan Wener, who sits on Concordia University’s board of governors and its real-estate committee. He’s a big reason behind the new buildings they have, to the point where I don’t know why he doesn’t have one named after him yet.
More importantly, he’s very rich and not one to waste money on some go-nowhere startup without a plan. That alone makes me think Akoha’s got something here.
Super-Duper-Super-Secret startup project Akoha has finally lifted the veil (partially) on its operations as it launches its Startup Jobs site.
And apparently it’s … something to do with social networking and playing.
Now it all makes sense. I think.