A new social networking app called "Color" launches today, but it's not trying to compete with Facebook. It's for connecting with the people right next to you, not far-flung friends. It doesn't work on your laptop or desktop, just on smartphones. And it's designed to be entirely open, like Twitter — it doesn't even have the option of privacy settings. The smartphone app is for sharing photos, text messages and video, automatically, with anyone else using it within 100 feet.
Color has been top secret until today. Serial entrepreneur Bill Nguyen managed to raise $41 million from top VCs, Sequoia, Bain, and Silicon Valley bank — all without any news leaking out. Nguyen sold his last company, Lala.com to Apple for $80 million, and is drawing on his connections at both Apple and Google to help get the app prime placement in the app stores.