Start-ups have this wacky period when they switch from the seed-funded crazy land grab, to the second-round-funded fortification of battlements.
Hi5.com appears to be *right* on this cusp. It's a brilliant idea and it's going to be interesting to watch. Meanwhile, it's fascinating to see the dichotomy frozen in time.
Crazy land grab:
* Upon login you are immediately asked to invite your friends.
* Your profile page prominently shows your stats, enticing you to add more.
* They've outsourced video to VideoEgg; avoiding capital investment in favor of higher costs per item.
* Their database is clearly a central bottleneck.
* They're hiring.
* Some database results are apparently being cached closer to the app. (e.g. "friends of this user" is less-than-dynamic)
* They are prominently featured as part of Google's Open Social hype.
I can't wait to see how the company matures!