This past week I had a chance to visit with Max Levchin, the co-founder and former chief technology officer of PayPal, at the new offices of his latest start-up, photo sharing service Slide. Unlike Flickr or other photo services like C/Net’s WebShots, Slide requires a software download. The company makes a piece of downloadable software that indexes all photographs on your hard drive, and then allows you to share them with groups of friends and family. The shared photos slide across the screen like a live ticker on the desktops of the group members who have also downloaded the software.
So far there has been a little buzz on the company because for one simple reason – many of the bloggers are Mac users. I have argued in the past that a start-up short on cash to spend on PR efforts should try going the Mac route first, because it brings in early adopters and influencers. (John Dvorak would disagree and call the influencers biased… but then…) The Gizmo Project is a perfect example. Of their 250,000 users nearly 1/3rd are Mac users. Imeem is working on a Mac client as well.
Coming back to Slide… I did get to see an alpha version of the service for Mac, and it works nicely… much like its Windows brethren. The client will go in private beta next week, and hopefully be public within days, Levchin says. Why? Because the company has an internal policy – CEO uses the “platform” with maximum number of users, and Levchin is missing his Powerbook. Of course, we could collectively torture him and download the WinXP version. (Check out the Mac screen shot below the fold.)