Prior to BubbleShare, Albert Lai has been involved in founding and launching a variety of start-ups for over a decade in the fields of educational software, electronic marketing, online publishing, e-commerce, peer-to-peer software, and commercialization of alien technologies. He loves photography, small animals, and coming up with crazy feature ideas. During his spare time he likes long walks on the beach (except when it’s snowing in Toronto), candle lit dinners, being grilled by prospective investors, and writing silly little bios like this one I forced him to write just now.
One Degree: It was great to see you at Torcamp. I’d lost track of you after MyDesktop but I always assumed you were up to amazing stuff. What have you been doing since selling MyDesktop To JupiterMedia? Fill us in on the last five years or so.
The first thing I did after selling MyDesktop in 1999, which at the time was the largest technology focused media network in Canada, was to work on starting a spin off from MyDesktop called BuyBuddy, and raising the first round of financing from the U.S. We had bootstrapped MyDesktop, and wanted to see what it was like to go down the venture capital route. BuyBuddy was one of the first comparison shopping engines on the net, and an early implementation of the concept around paid search/referrals (We got paid for referring qualified leads to e-commerce partners.)
After BuyBuddy I spent roughly two years traveling back and forth from Silicon Valley while working on a p2p storage software company called IdleAgent that was founded on the premise that there were vast amounts of storage capacity going unused, and that there was a commercial opportunity to bring some far ranging research down to a real world backup application level to aggregate and virtualize this unused capacity. The vision was to do this using self-healing, and self-optimizing software agents distributed on PCs across the network. Unfortunately, I founded this around the same time the NASDAQ plummeted and no one was interested in funding far-ranging visionary ventures that required any sort of runway before revenues/profitability.
Most recently, I started BubbleShare. We built BubbleShare to be the best way to share photos and tell your stories online. With BubbleShare, our users can immediately create photo slideshows or albums – without registration – and narrate their photos with their own voice right inside their Web browser.
One Degree: BubbleShare rocks. Really. It rocks. This is one of the smoothest online apps I’ve seen. Finally someone is using all that Web 2.0 ajaxy goodness to aid the average person rather than making more eye-candy. Well done! Can you tell us a bit about the design decisions you made with BubbleShare?
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