Goodbye my Lover … Dayre.me

posted on February 9, 2018

So I guess the Time has come to say goodbye.

For those who do not know, Dayre, the popular mobile blogging app, was a passion project of mine, when I was CEO of the Netccentric Group.

I had felt at the time, that with the massive changes and developments taking place in the Social Media World, Netccentric needed to step up to the plate, and we needed to develop something great of our own.

I dreamt up the concept of Dayre, from our first failed attempt at developing a mobile app.

I was lying in Patty’s shop (innitbangkok), analyzing where it had all gone wrong, and realised … it had gone wrong because we had tried to be “safe” with our first app.

We had tried to be the “middle man” again, when we really needed to be at the centre of it all.

We needed to get people creating their own content on our platform, versus almagating and organizing already existing content and blogs (Which we did via the failed imotiv app).

It was risky, and it was bold, and I faced resistance, but I knew that with the scene being dominated by just two big boys, Facebook and Google, we would have to have a go at it.

 

I never started out as a blogger, but after starting Nuffnang, I realised, I needed to stay current and understand what the fuss was all about.

You can say, I got hooked on it.

My first blog started me on a journey, I’m still deeply passionate about today. Telling one’s story.

By 2013, more than a decade after great platforms like Livejournal, blogger and wordpress had made blogging mainstream though, there was a problem. They had not developed any further. They had stagnated.

Like our incumbent businesses, the advent of mobile had disrupted their game. These platforms had no reply.

People, it seemed no longer had the time to write. They only had the time to tweet.

or … to take a perfectly curated flatlay …

And slightly later… to record a video that makes you look like a dog. (Snapchat would eventually themselves be disrupted by Facebook and Instagram).

I thought to myself that fateful day;

Were there people like me who wanted something more … more of a voice, but did not do it because there was no simple way?

So I took all these ideas, and went local …

I mixed all these concepts together, and made Rojak. Dayre was proudly made in Singapore … no argument there ;-p

The concept now seems elementary, but at the time, naysayers were abound.

Dayre combined all the daily social media habits of people, all the short form tidbits they offered up into the day, and introduced structure. An ability to tell a narrative. A story of a person’s day.

It was a bigger success than I could have imagined … with over 500,000 downloads and active users doing just that. Today newspaper even predicted it would be mainstream in one of their new year eve predictions (Must have jinxed it lol).

More than that though, and what gratified me greatly, was the treasure trove of stories that were uncovered on the platform.

And no … I’m not talking about the R21 threads, you tiko uncles …

But the stories of personal hardship, suffering, and eventual triumph.

Many of these original stories have now been lost (Either to me/or deleted), but they always gave me perspective. Even in my darkest of times.

Who can forget the account of a loving sister, and her brother who was suffering from Sepsis … and had to live life in a way most of us would shudder to imagine.

But it went EVEN further than that, when you see the responses of people who had likewise suffered, and offered hope to her …

It may seem like I’m plagiarising a Mastercard ad, but frankly …

Somethings money can’t buy …

And so to the Dayre community, and those people, who offered just a glimmer of light, to others in the trenches, I salute you and thank you sincerely. Who says Singaporeans are a materialistic bunch with no heart? (The majority of Dayre Active Users are Singaporean)

I say you showed them! πŸ™‚ To me, you are Singaporeans of the year. πŸ™‚

I know many of you will be sad, and seeking reasons why this has happened.

I can only tell you from my personal perspective, as the creator of Dayre, my team and I had a plan in place.

Part of that plan involved raising funds for the project, which I successfully did, via an IPO in 2015.Β  To the tune of 12.5 million AUD. The company as of end June 2017 still had 6.2 million SGD in bank according to their half year filings, so no, Netccentric is not bankrupt.

The second part of it, involved the gradual introduction and ramping up of a premium subscription model, called Dayre Plus (The idea was to make it increasingly worthwhile to buy a subscription by introducing new features over time).

 

All these plans were unfortunately reversed with my stepping down as CEO of Netccentric in Feb 2017.

 

From that time, my vision and association with Dayre ended, and my team was dismantled.

A new guy “took over”.

 

 

Dayre Plus was heavily discounted, (meaning the developed pathway to financial sustainability was cut off), and significant new developments of features on the app were seemingly de-prioritised.

These two things combined, meant the slow, but perhaps inevitable demise of Dayre as we knew it. And in my personal opinion, the loss of a potential powerhouse for Netccentric.

Every app, including the best, needs to constantly engage its audience with new features and developments. Dayre like the blogging platforms of old, stagnated, and got boring.

With a feeble “final” attempt at “fundraising” to make Dayre sustainable obviously unsuccessful (A single sticker sale … really?), the app and community heads out with a whimper, instead of the roar when it was first launched by my team.

Many Dayreans might have hoped for another outcome, and I, as the creator, shared that hope right to the very end … but it is a pity the folks who run Dayre today, didn’t share the love and passion I have for her, and that the plans and visions I so carefully planned did not have a chance to materialize.

I believe that if they did, perhaps Dayre, once so popular and loved, would have met with a different fate.

I would have liked for Dayre to have become as big a giant as Instagram is today … and for PM Lee to have mentioned it in his NDR as a world beater from Singapore!

For Dayre’s first birthday, I received a 100 personalized (many hand drawn) birthday cards in the mail for our community and app.

To me, they reflect that something special we built together, and inspire me to greater heights.

 

“Here’s To The Night”

So denied so I lied are you the now or never kind
In a day and a day love I’m gonna be gone for good again
Are you willing to be had are you cool with just tonight
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too wellHere’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soonPut your name on the line along with place and time
Wanna stay not to go I wanna ditch the logical
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too wellHere’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soonAll my time is froze in motion
Can’t I stay an hour or two or more
Don’t let me let you go
Here’s a toast to all those who hear me all too wellHere’s to the nights we felt alive
Here’s to the tears you knew you’d cry
Here’s to goodbye
Tomorrow’s gonna come too soon

 

  • cupoftea

    Hello Bossming, I am an OG user of dayre and very upset that this platform will be going down history. May I know why isn’t it possible for Dayre to be sold to someone? Is it an unattractive venture?

    • Ming Shen Cheo

      That is up to the management to decide. Selling something is a process that needs to be initiated by the owner of the app/community … unfortunately, thats not in my hands anymore!

  • amanda_wanghx

    It’s indeed a sad day for all of us 😌

    • Ming Shen Cheo

      πŸ™ although when every door closes, a new one opens.

  • ys

    So sad that a place that I’ve been penning my thoughts for over 3 years (almost 4) is at its end.

    • Ming Shen Cheo

      i know how you feel!

  • Paul

    Hello Mr Cheo,

    For all it’s worth, here are my thoughts:

    First, the name. While it is clever, it’s a problem when people find it hard to pronounce. Is it day-re (dairy), or da-year, i still don’t know for sure. It doesn’t roll off the tongue easily at all. It’s a small thing, but still a thing.

    The cartoons hardly has its own unique personality. I personally felt that it was too similar to what LINE has to offer.

    The subscription model was an exercise in futility from the start. Simply because it’s just too expensive! I don’t know if your team consulted your users, or if the standards of “expensive” apply differently for us, but the price at 128/annum is a no-no, at least for me, especially when these additional features are things I can do without. In fact, if you think about it, those features (that I remember) goes against the spirit of sharing! The reduction in price may be unsustainable in the long run for your operations, but i think it was a necessary evil. Facebook and instagram wouldn’t be as successful today if they had charged for their use. I am sure your team would have considered ads, so is there a reason why that is not a good idea?

    Whatever it is, I can definitely feel your anguish. It is obviously something you have taken much pride in. I can only imagine it’s like having your child wrangled away from you, and then having to watch it from a distance. Take care. I look forward to supporting your next venture.

  • Adriana Tahir

    Hello BossMing!

    Dunno if you remember me, but my friend, Miko, and I met you during your OSU talk in Brisbane (Aug 2016) and afterwards, told you how Dayre brought us together and changed our lives. I’m really sorry to see the platform go and my heart goes out to you for witnessing something so meaningful to you… not survive.

    I believe the people/things who are meant to be in your lives will find their way back into it, no matter what happens. Dayre (and by extension, you!) has cultivated one of the most beautiful and supportive online communities and I’m very sure we will all run into each other in the future, one way or another.

    Thank you for this beautiful brainchild of yours and believing in it all those years. Thank you for your dedication and hard work. Thank you for loving and caring for us.

    Best wishes!!