12ish was a product created by Colin Mathews and Tyler Hill that let you buy 12 minutes of someone's time on a private phone call. Authors, professional lie detectors, army recruiters, startup veterans, travel experts, chefs, film directors, lucid dreamers, and many other walks of life all made their home on 12ish.
Hosts set a price for 12 minutes of their time, and people booked their scheduled time slots. The 12ish system called each party, bridged them for exactly 12.5 minutes, charged the caller's card, and transfered the payment minus fees to the host.
This tiny team built this rich product with bootstrapped funds and a vision to enable the spreading of wisdom and experience around the world, 12 minutes at a time. 12ish received much praise, won a top voted position on Product Hunt, was one of the startups of the month on /r/startups, and was mentioned in various press outlets such as iDigitalTimes and entrepreneur.com.
You can view Colin's latest work (as of this writing) at Mailshake.
"Building 12ish was a thrilling experience. We fell in love with the idea of spreading human wisdom virally. Our dream was for perfect strangers to cross paths ever so briefly and leave a lasting impact on each other.
We shipped our product early and iterated quickly based on calls we had with our customers, and what emerged was an incredible platform that we were so proud of. We believed in selling a product (not selling our customers through advertising), and in some ways that is a tougher road to travel. In the end 12ish wasn't able to gain enough traction to become self-sustaining, and we were forced to close operations.
Personally, I learned an enormous amount from this endeavor, and I'm so grateful to everyone who supported us. It felt magical for me, taking so many 12ish calls as a host and a customer, and it was ridiculously fun to see (and meet) the awesome people who used our service!