Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Gina Bianchini’s New Start-Up Is a Guide Creation Tool: Mightybell

Mightybell is today launching a beta version of its tools for sharing step-by-step guides to experiences like traveling, recipes and education.

The service, which is available as a Web site and iPhone app, comes from Gina Bianchini, the co-founder and former CEO of Ning.

Mightybell’s content management tools try to anticipate the ways its guide creators might use them — to offer a packing list for a trip, for instance, or to set up a communal photo gallery for everyone who uses the guide. It helps creators add pictures, videos, times and locations, and encourages them to make their steps measurable so users can confirm that they have each been completed.

Mightybell also has extensive and pretty tools for creators to analyze how people use their guides, including feedback on how every step was received by users, visualizations of conversion rates from various referrers like Facebook and Twitter, and details about which of their followers are most engaged. Registered guide users also get a multicolored timeline of everything they’ve ever done on the site.

Mightybell doesn’t yet have a directory of its guides; for this first launch, it is focused on people who want to create them, said Bianchini. She’s also employing an unusual beta testing gate: Users who want to try the product now can pay $1; others can sign up for free to get access at a later date.

That doesn’t mean the service is eventually going to require users to pay to create guides, necessarily — though they can, if they wish, elect to charge $2 to $1,000 for use of their guides, of which Mightybell takes a 25 percent cut.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Mightybell has nine employees and raised seed funding from Floodgate Fund, First Round Capital and Founder Collective.

When Bianchini stepped down last March from the CEO role at Ning, another social toolset provider, she had joined Ning co-founder Marc Andreessen as an EIR at Andreessen Horowitz. But she left after only three months, and AH is not an investor in Mightybell.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work