He wants to make sure nothing he’d said would be misinterpreted.
I think I would accept the offers now, because I’m much more educated about it.
But I’m not sure things would be better if I took the offers back then–I think traffic would’ve gone down anyway after the investment.” But the Moscow-born, high-school dropout isn’t dwelling on the millions of dollars he might’ve lost.
Living with his two coworkers in their one-bedroom, Ternovskiy is on a steady schedule: eat, sleep, and develop Chatroulette.
(“Somebody needs to code, somebody needs to program, someone has to work,” he says.) Last week, his team introduced a new feature called “skins,” which provides alternating themes to the site’s background.
“Alright, now I’m outside.”The evasive, confined lifestyle isn’t what you’d expect from Ternovskiy.
Only months earlier, the 18-year-old had entertained drooling interest from the likes of Digital Sky Technologies and Fred Wilson, turning down million-dollar offers for his popular video-chatting service. Nearly every major media outlet wrote about Chatroulette. But six months later, the fickle followers of Web fads have collectively hit the “next” button.According to Ternovskiy, Chatroulette is now earning 0,000 per month due to its refined business model and content-control system–all from “naked men.” That’s triple the site’s monthly “mainstream” or “normal” revenue, as Ternovskiy refers to it.It’s also Ternovskiy’s answer to whether he’d finally accepted outside investments.The million-dollar offers have dried up, and critics have labeled the service a passing craze.Others have blamed the site’s decline on its pornographic content–it’s estimated one in every eight chats yielded R-rated material.“Since we’ve implemented the content-control system, the site has become cleaner, and more people are starting to use it,” the founder tells But Chatroulette can’t fully wean itself off nudity yet.