Mike Toutonghi's startup WebFives (formerly Vizrea) is shutting down. They have sold the assets to Microsoft, and Mike's heading back to work for them. Pity.
Vizrea came out at Demo 2006, along with iotum. They had a promising idea — that people wanted a natural and easy way to share photos and videos from mobile phones. With Toutonghi as CEO, and former Microsoft SVP Brad Chase (one of the most talented guys I've ever had the opportunity to work with) as Chairman they were a golden team.
Alas, more established photo services added mobile clients, and along came the FaceBook phenomenon, which established itself overnight as the dominant photo sharing service on the internet. In retrospect, the odds were clearly stacked against them before they got started.
As I mentioned to a friend recently, ideas are cheap. It's execution that counts. Sometimes a failure to execute is because the team isn't capable, or there isn't enough money and resources. Sometimes, as seems to be apparent now with Vizrea, it's just timing.