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Summary:

Blue Frog Mobile, the Seattle company that works with TV stations to allow viewers to text messages in to appear on the screen, filed for Ch…

Blue Frog Mobile, the Seattle company that works with TV stations to allow viewers to text messages in to appear on the screen, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy late last week, saying it wishes to liquidate its assets. The company did make significant progress in its four years of existence. Originally a ringtone and wallpaper seller, it changed focus to selling its TXTV service, launching at one point in Detroit, Indianapolis and Phoenix and Los Angeles during odd hours and on off-brand TV stations.

As recently as last fall, the company was at CTIA pitching the its interactive TV service. A top exec acknowledged at the time that the company had gone through turbulent times, including layoffs and a change in management, but that things were now finally straightening out.

This story in the Seattle P-I shows things are still not clear: “Trustee Bruce Kriegman said he is not sure who has authority over the company. ‘My focus right now … is finding out whether this was an authorized filing or not because — for lack of better words — the old board and the new board are contesting who is in charge,’ said Kriegman, who received approval Monday afternoon from the landlord for access to Blue Frog’s headquarters at Rainier Tower.”

The discrepancy is odd given that the company seems to have been slowing down for awhile. The Web site shows no press releases have been posted in a year, and, according to the bankruptcy filing, there’s not much left to argue over. Blue Frog claims to have fewer than 50 creditors, between $1 and $10 million in assets, and $500,000 to $1 million in liabilities.

  1. Tricia,

    It was never clear to me what problem Blue Frog solved. They succeeded in fleecing Canaan plus other investors out of $16 million dollars to sell ringtones and wallpapers when there were already thousands of companies selling these products online at the time. Seems Canaan should have known this as it was as obvious as rain in Seattle. Repositioning Blue Frog to pursue interactive TV was equally brain dead as compelling content creates the opportunity for audience engagement, not the other way around. This is evident for videogames, movies, music on CD or mp3, etc.

    An amazing waste of capital, and an outstanding example of too much capital being managed by marginal investors. The management of Blue Frog would have been better off pursuing a sale at the time of investment.

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  2. Here's what I recall of Blue Frog Mobile at every single CTIA or MMA event:
    bunch of really drunk Hip Hop artists walking around hitting on chicks while some Blue Frog lackey hands out ringtone promo material…now that's a great business plan.

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  3. Of greater concern than all the dollars wasted is, what happened to the blue frogs they had in their office? Yes, actual Blue Poison Dart Frogs (Dendrobates azureus)!

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  4. The frogs were rescued before the office was locked – I'm not sure how, but I know that they're divided between 2 former employee's homes.

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  5. All I Can Say Is I Was There Technical Support in ATL, I wish I Had Known Of The Troubles, I Would Have Worked With Them Just To Have Piece Of The Pie!!They Always Paid OnTime~ They Will Be Missed, Any Investors Out There Wanna Invest In 16 Million In Me?

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  6. I discovered $9.99 increase in my 2/09 verizon mobile bill. Called Verizon and customer service said increase due to my signing up for bluefrog/gomobile (they couldn't tell which) premium text msg'g service. Never ever happened.

    Verizon and I placed conference call to bluefrog/gomobile at 888919777 and talked to someone who, not to place too fine a point on the nature of the conversation, was not particularly conversant (we actually heard what sounded like a dog barking in the background), but who said he'd cancel the premium account.

    How this all happened is beyond me, since I have never responded to any type of text msge (I'm an old, mobile illiterate guy of 62), which I understand is a necessary predicate for signing up for the so-called premium service. What I'd give for a couple of minutes alone in a dark alley with whomever devised this scam.

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