A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week:
What: Lifestyle Wireless, Seattle
Who: Greg Lambrecht, 45, founder and CEO
Mission: Bring text messaging to the masses by broadcasting a daily dose of familiar content (www.textaday.com).
Hybrid: The business plan combines several familiar elements: gift cards, novelty calendars and community building. Customers receive a daily message on a certain topic on their cellphones. Current categories are sports, religion and lifestyle and include sports scores, message of faith or joke of the day.
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Learn the score: Though he thinks the potential of text messaging is “obvious,” Lambrecht says no company has yet tapped this potential. “The progression went from voice to graphics and bypassed text,” he said. “It’s easy, and universal.”
How it works: Lifestyle sells the “Text-a-Day” cards at retail. A customer activates the card on a phone or on the Web, after which a server assumes the task of sending messages to the right place.
Green card: With an interest in green business, Lifestyle plans to center one of the services on conservation, distributing daily ecological hints and tips.
Financials: The company has raised money through friends and family and is seeking venture funding. The cards cost $10 and include 60 days of messages; customers who like the service can opt in through their regular carrier for $5 a month. Revenue comes solely from customer fees; no advertising is involved. Lambrecht predicts the company will be profitable two months after entering the channel of large retailers.
Everywhere: Plans are to sell Text-a-Day cards in Radio Shack, Best Buy, Target and Dollar general stores. Lambrecht is aiming for the impulse purchase, confident that many customers will opt in after the initial period. “This is a fun thing,” he said. “It’s a nice unique gift to buy for someone.”
— Charles Bermant