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Me.dium announced today that they have closed a $15 million financing and have decided to stay in Boulder instead of split for Rio. Me.dium is one of the most ambitious projects I’ve been involved in. Alex Iskold – the founder of AdaptiveBlue (another exciting company) – has written an excellent overview at Read/WriteWeb where he describes Me.dium as “the dawn of collaborative browsing.” Alex nails the goal and vision of Me.dium and Phil Butler over at Profy gives another useful explanation.
One of the themes I’ve been banging away on for the last year is something I call the “Implicit Web.” I’m not alone – some of my favorite co-investors and friends are also playing with this idea. I’ve even helped start a conference – called Defrag – with Eric Norlin to further explore this problem.
Me.dium is going after the real-time element of this. As more time is spent online, the value of having real-time interactions with others increases. This isn’t new – we’re all “enjoying” IM. However, there’s no contextual relevance with any of these services. I can’t easily discover new things or people in real-time based on what I’m doing. Dumb.
More importantly – my computer isn’t helping me! Wouldn’t it be nice if my “computer” (or more properly – my “compute infrastructure”) was paying attention to what I was doing and making all these connections automagically in the background for me?
The technology behind this is incredibly difficult. The guys at Me.dium have recruited some of the local tech hotshots and have assembled a fantastic team. They’ve also taken a really smart approach to developing this – rather than open it up and see what happens, they’ve worked meticulously to manage scale, figure out the issues at each scale point, and iterate. My list of “active friends” has steadily grown, the real-time relevance has increased, and the performance has continues to be acceptable (with the occasional expected burp.)
If you are interested in trying Me.dium out and you are a Firefox user, click on my invite code and sign up. You’ve got to add some friends to get the real sense of the value (not too many – once you get above 10 active ones it gets really interesting.)
Look for a lot of exciting stuff to come in the next few months (e.g. non-Firefox.) As my friends at Me.dium like to say, “Crossover…”