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Today, FeedBurner announced that they had been acquired by Google and Google announced that they had acquired FeedBurner. There’s a nice symmetry to that. I’m burning with glee for all my friends in Chicago, especially Dick, Steve, Eric, and Matt (aka “the founders.”)
A little over two years ago (4/5/05 to be exact) I made an investment in FeedBurner. At the time, I didn’t realize how important it was to Dick Costolo that I capitalize the “B” in FeedBurner so I accidentally titled my post on the investment I’m Hot on Feedburner.
I’ve been very successful investing in stuff around SMTP (er – email) and after playing around with RSS, the ecosystem that could be developed around the RSS protocol felt analogous to what had happened around the SMTP protocol. I (along with my partners Seth Levine and Ryan McIntyre) identified three key parts to the RSS / feed puzzle – subscribe, publish, and search. FeedBurner was our investment that addressed publish (NewsGator addresses subscribe; Technorati addresses search.)
From my first interaction with Dick (5/8/04) five days after I started blogging, I knew he and his gang was creating something special. I’m FeedBurner publisher #699 (not quite as low as Fred’s number, but a very beautiful number nonetheless.) Today, there are over 430,000 publishers. FeedBurner’s ability to scale, their ability to regularly roll out new functionality, their dedication to their publishers, and their sense of humor,
good looks, and charm has served them well.
Congrats to everyone at FeedBurner. To my friends at Google (which I guess now includes my FeedBurner friends in a recursive sort of way), you picked up a great one (and make sure you ask Dick for a FeedBurner sticker!)