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24 November 2009

The Future of Baralbait

Every now and then we see people coming out with cool startup, and we also sometimes see other people shutting their own startups down. And each time I see any of those startups being shut down I keep asking myself, why did they take such decision. Does it really cost them a lot of money, and they don't have any revenue streams to cover their expenses?

But lately, I've been haunted by the idea of shutting Baralbait down. Baralbait doesn't cost me much money at all, so it's not financial reasons that makes me think of shutting it down. Also, I hate when people keep blaming the competition, yes, we have got Four Square, Bright Kite, Google Latitude, Loopt, Yahoo Friend on Fire, Dopplr, and so many other cool services that are more attractive than Baralbait, but it's not the competition that makes me wanna quit. And for sure dumbs are the only ones who prefer to blame the market - i.e. their users.

I've started Baralbait more than a year ago. And so for we have less than 100 users. Most of them, signed up, and gave Baralbait a try for few minutesn and never logged in again. I really, don't know if I am wasting my time trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist. But still I can't say that this is the real reason for me to take such decision, because I still believe that people always face problems when they decide to go out as they have to think of a place to go, something to do, and friends to arrange the outing with. So, I can tweak and morph my service more to be a suitable solution for such problems, as apparently it doesn't help in solving those problems so far.

In fact, I am still not sure why I want to quit, but may be I want to focus on other ideas that can be more useful to people than Baralbait.

PS. I haven't taken a final decision yet. I am still thinking about it, and your feedback will sure help me decide.


  1. Hi,Tarek !
    Honestly,Baralbait is a very nice service.I like it but I can't seem to use its features because I'm not traveling all the time and another thing it's not available in a mobile version.
    For the users thing, I guess it needs to be published on other websites from time to time, so users can be remind of it, and also to be noticed by those who have never seen it.
    The design is simple and clear and so easy to use and it's not a problem.
    I guess all you need is more users and the service to be known more and more.
    I saw there's going to be a connection between Baralbait and other services such as Jaiku and Twitter, and that's a really good thing, because Twitter users can share their favorite places and organize events with their Twitter friends easily.
    So, I can create a small bar for it and I'll send it to you, and I'll add it to my website, you may also send it to your friends who might add it to theirs. Of course, if you don't mind :)
    Good luck bro, it's a good job so keep it up and DON'T shut it down ^_^

  2. Thanks a lot Randa,

    In face, it's available on mobile, but it seems that it's my fault as the link to the mobile site isn't very clear.

    You have raised a very important point here. You are right, I think I have to work more on connecting Baralbait to other services, so people get notified there about what's going on in Baralbait, and also users can update their location on Baralbait from those other services.

    I think I have to give your above suggestion a very high priority, as they are really helpful. Thanks a lot.

    Finally, about the design, I think it is only simple because you're too smart, but it's not that simple for normal users :)

  3. Look..don't's promising..and yes work on connecting it to other services.
    If I have a decent mobile phone and/or a decent mobile internet service in Lebanon..I would have used it on a daily basis.
    After all they say "geotagging" is the next twitter :)

  4. Tarek,

    First, I am not an avid user of geotagging site, but seeing you have come so far you just need to keep going.

    You need more visibility on the web specially for Arab community. More marketing tricks will do.

    You need the site to be fully Arabic and push along that line.

    I am glad you took the initiative so far, you need more motivation and another brain to think with you. I am more than welling to do so, let me know how we can work this out together.

  5. Dear Tarek,

    I can see that this is an old topic and ur startup still working, so congratulation on passing this.

    Actually we meet before in DemoCamp and i liked your idea but did not try to use it and i'm not sure about whole idea "i think it afford friends track each other"

    here you have to select one option of two to drive your project for success.

    before i talk about the options i just would like to let you know that the world is mad of tracking technologies and its implementations in (national IDs, animals, transportations, goods, ...)

    So the first option is to turn your idea to a commercial/paid service and start going to companies like Maersk, Ocean Cargo, ... which care to track its containers with customers goods and start selling your service as "annually paid subscription" or "paid per once" and i think the first would be better.

    The second option is to keep the idea as it is and start searching for number of "important" and "highly netwroked" characters, convince them with the idea and make them use it for a period of time and during this period work hard to show a dynamic and efficiency because this would be ur turning point ... and this is what happend with twitter, when important characters showed interest in the idea and started using it so other people were keen to discover twitter.

    Hope i were useful to u and just would like to let u remember me, i were participating in DemoCamp also with "RFID IN REGION" and the RFID is one of new tracking technologies so if you found any of the options i showed useful you and want to talk more about it, u r wellcomed.