Strange happenings at fledgling startup TripSwarm with news that at least one of the co-founders has quit, citing creative differences and saturation of the market.
The US-based company featured as a TLabs Showcase just ten days ago with a heady mix of flight and hotel search, itinerary planning, "social information" and more.
At the time the company said:
"We are looking to make the travel experience a more social and interactive one. With features like a Travel Playlist, travellers will be able to show off their travels in a slideshow format including personalized journal, photos, and video."
Revenue was going to be made from advertising, referrals through the Kayak metasearch white label and the TripAdvisor affiliate scheme.
But clearly something was wrong within the camp of five employees. An email from one of the executives (who will remain nameless) on Friday points to a clear division within the co-founding team:
"The entire idea was an unoriginal copy and a waste of time from the start. I was dragged into this idea under the assumption that it hadn't been done before."
The email continues that own private research illustrated that the marketplace "was already saturated well past the point of no return".
This realisation, using an unusual but interesting term, was doomed to the point of it being "a pyramid scheme of waterfalling APIs".
"There was nothing we could do that wasn't already being done better by somebody else."
The company's holding page (for beta sign-ups) has already been removed from the web, along with its blog charting early stages of the business.
Emails to other members of the co-founding team have yet to yield any response.