The latest iteration of Cheezburger, part of of Ben Huh’s humor empire, has been released on iOS and is coming soon to Android. The new app emphasizes content creation by letting users easily remix images and GIFs. Users can also upload their own images to the remix feature.
Perhaps most notable about this release, however, is not the new features, but Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh’s post about the new app. In it, he details the entire story of how it came to be:
Entrepreneurs usually share only the happy, proud announcement of a new product. We sweep aside the failures that hounded us along the way, as if we believe that a celebration is no time for honesty. Yet every new product has a painful history.
Huh goes on to detail the millions of dollars of venture capital his company wasted, how his company stopped shipping products, and painful layoffs — including laying off an exec with cancer who later passed away:
We took care of her exit and made her happy. But nothing can make you feel good about the fact that you just laid off a terminally ill mom in the hospital.
Amber Dunn passed away a few months later, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. To this day, I often wonder if I am responsible for shortening her life.
Huh goes into all of the challenges that have plagued the efforts behind the app, and explains what he has learned from the whole process. It’s required reading for aspiring entrepreneurs, but also a lesson in good PR. We read countless of staid press announcements every day; they are boring and unmemorable. Try a good (read: honest) story instead.
To read Huh’s full account, head over to Medium.