There are two reasons why the popular video discussion site Seesmic.com has been such a smashing success. First, it's a great concept that's attracted a fantastic group of people to it. Second, and perhaps as if not more important, is the leadership shown by its CEO Loic LeMeur and his willingness to change things in response to his members requests.
And that's something pretty rare in startups these days.
Earlier today, in response to many well chronicled problems with the site, LeMeur announced a long awaited update to Seesmic that will all but solve the issues users had been having. Because the original site was designed entirely in Flash, things were very clunky and the service was getting harder and harder to use. Videos were getting lost, the public timeline was often inaccessible, the site would cause your browser to crash, and there were all sorts of other nasties that were threatening to take Seesmic down the road of so many other failed startups.
But one thing was different: LeMeur and his team were eating their own dog food. A huge portion of Seesmic staff, including LeMeur, actively participated on Seesmic and, as such, were acutely aware of the platforms limitations and issues.
Today's release is a major step in bringing Seesmic into a new age. The slow, depressingly black site has been retooled as a spiffy, bright, site with nearly all of the Flash components gone. The site is super responsive, thanks to an AJAX backed platform, and the team took this time to introduce a host of new features to the service for which users had been begging for for months.
For the full details on the new Seesmic release, visit Loic's blog or his video post from last night. All-in-all, this release is fantastic and, while there are admittedly a few bugs, it's incredibly better than the old site and, according to several followup post by LeMeur, the team is not finished yet.
Good job Seesmic. You're an example of the way a startup should be run: lean, responsive, and involved. You guys are definitely a top-shelf service.