Everybody's stalking: Accidental entrepreneur David Weekly sets a new record for startup failure

The new poster child for the dot-com bubble wasn't even a real company. In an exclusive IM interview, SingleStat.us coder David Weekly explains how a weekend project earned way too much attention before flaming out.

David Weekly: i think this wins the prize for shortest web 2.0 dot-com ever
service began development june 4, launched june 4, tech crunch june 5, c&d june 15
Valleywag: So for our readers, how did you think of your SingleStat.us site, and what does it do?
David: SingleStat.us let you know when someone's relationship status [on MySpace] changed. It was a fun project, something I did to compete in the DHX competition. Of course, I was helping host the competition, so I wasn't an official entrant. :)
Wag: And DHX is the tenth of your Super Happy Dev House coding events. What was the first surprise when you put SingleStat.us online?
David: well, i woke up the next day and we were on [popular blog] techcrunch. i wasn't exactly expecting that. some companies go through a lot of time, money, sweat, and tears before they're featured on techcrunch
David: so then there were all these people who were just *irate* that a web 2.0 company could launch with such a cheap, shoddy model.

David: of course, they didn't really understand that this was something a guy had done on a Sunday. i think they assumed there was a full team behind it with real money.
Wag: And then came surprise #2.
David: heh
the VC lunch
Wag: Which VCs, dude?
David: [laugh] i don't want to piss nice people off. they were more interested in hearing about the thoughts behind singlestat.us than dumping a few million in...i think.
Wag: Give us a hint?
David: South Bay VC
Wag: Have we covered all the surprises?
David: Well, there was a long article in WebProNews about SingleStat.us, about 120 blog entries made in at least six different languages, an entry in USA Today's blog about it, and a morning interview with a Philadelphia talk radio station.
The Cease and Desist received today from MySpace probably took the cake, though.
Wag: So how'd this all leave you? What did you learn?
David: Well, I learned a little bit about viral marketing. I also learned that big companies sometimes don't like small companies innovating using them as a platform. And I had some real fun, which was the whole point, anyhow. This wasn't meant to be a billion dollar idea, it was something fun to do on a Sunday. And I got to know the other players in the stalker space, like DatingAnyone and Stalkerati, as well as inspiring StalkerExchange.com.
Incidentally, I think StalkerExchange may have been launched and shut down even faster than I was.
I may have to cede my speed-crown. :)
Wag: Oh hot. What did it do?
David: Peer to peer stalking
Wag: yeah, it's just a " :( " now
David: was launched this morning i think.
by my friend Eric.
yep, launched at 5:40am this morning. it's now 5:40pm, exactly 12 hours later.
*exactly*
now that is a fast-lived company.
i can do the whole dotCom cycle in two weeks flat.
idea -> conception -> implementation -> deployment -> viral spread -> implosion -> failure! :)
if one in 12 startups fails and i can do one every two weeks...
then i should be able to turn out two successful startups a year!
Wag: brilliant!

SingleStat.us [Now defunct]