Y Combinator-Backed Omnisio Is YouTube’s First Post-Google Acquisition

Omnisio has been acquired by Google as YouTube’s first acquisition since they were themselves acquired a few years back. You can listen to the recent Metarand Unplugged audio interview with the video annotation startup’s CEO, Ryan Junee, here – in it we talk about the company and their journey through Paul Graham’s Y Combinator program.

Besides Ryan and his two fellow Aussie co-founders, Paul must himself be over the moon — from woe to go this must’ve been one of the quickest exits for Y Combinator. Atherton-based Omnisio launched in March 2008.

The best part – Ryan is a committed serial entrepreneur and I fully expect we’ll be hearing more great things from him in the near future.

While Ryan did not disclose to us the quantum of the deal, Michael Arrington has surmised it as being in the $15 million range.

Innovation Bay: Mike Cannon-Brookes Shares His Atlassian Adventures

Mike Cannon-Brookes, the CEO and a Co-Founder of Atlassian, spoke at an Innovation Bay breakfast session last week. You can listen to his entire talk here.

Atlassian is 6.5 years old. They have 12,500 enterprise customers in 105 countries and did about $35.5m in sales last year and are aiming to hit $60m this year. In total they have 200 staff spread between Sydney, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur and Poland. They are opening an office in Amsterdam in August.

A few nuggets:

  • They didn’t know what product they were going to sell when they started the company. They had in mind the type of business they wanted to run, they knew the sector (sell enterprise software) and they knew a little bit about how they wanted to sell, but they didn’t have any idea what software they were going to sell. They started with about 3 or 4 different unique prototypes that they built. One of these took off a little more than the others, so they focused on that and it is now their leading product – Jira, which has 9,500 of their 12,500 customers.
  • They knew they wanted to build an enterprise software company, but as encapsulated in their mission statement: a different kind of enterprise software company. This is not a contrarian stance, rather they like to evaluate everything they do and not simply follow what other businesses do unless it makes sense. “A little commonsense goes a long way as an entrepreneur.”
  • All of their products have been built because they fundamentally needed them and because they felt there was a large enough market that wasn’t being addressed. They have yet to build or buy anything they don’t actually use as a company.
  • Starting a second product was the smartest thing they did as it stopped them being a single product, single feature company. Today they have seven unique brands/products, developed by 12 different software teams – some of the products are sold in different ways. “Being a single trick pony as a business is very, very dangerous”.
  • As an online business they have found that the speed with which they are able to respond to customers makes a marked difference in their propensity to buy software. Their goal is to be able to respond within four hours to every single query they get from anywhere in the world — this ties into their strategy of opening a key European office in August as it give them the ability to respond around the clock.

Social Media Interaction Via Brandstreaming

Richard MacManus has a great introductory piece to the concept of brandstreaming over on ReadWriteWeb.

As defined by Pheedo, brandstreaming refers to the consistent flow of content created by a brand.

I believe that taken as a concerted effort and part of a portfolio of word of mouth engagement, brandstreaming is both a very useful identifier of brand influencers and propagator of conversations. It’s not a platform in itself, but a key piece of the overall social media brand puzzle.

[Picture courtesy of brentjholmes]

“Great Apes!” Facebook Favorites Apps, Flushes Others

A year ago Facebook announced its F8 Platform – open architectured and a new frontier for all app developers to populate. But a chosen few apps were lauded as the leading lights. This gave a huge first mover advantage to a handful of players.

Today, Facebook has essentially named the frontier won. A select few apps will be chosen (not by the users, but by Facebook) as “Great Apps” and they will be rewarded with a higher level of visibility and early access to new features.

Other apps, essentially the “Great Unwashed”, will either be chosen to be part of an Application Verification program and receive some form of certification that gives users more assurances of their good character or they will be flushed to the lower recesses of the Facebook platform with the implied certification: “Install at Your Peril”.

I can see benefits for Facebook users, who have become saturated with spammy apps, but for developers who have built apps that deliver high levels of engagement and value to users, it remains to be seen whether the inside track will be fair and equitable. Facebook’s current track record in delivering on its developer promises is not crash hot at present — anyone remember the Facebook Fund?

VentureWrap: Zynga Brings Kleiner Into Play With $29M

The Potrero Hill, San Francisco-based Mark Pincus social games venture, Zynga Game Network has closed a $29 million Series B funding round led by Kleiner Perkins.

New Kleiner partner and former Electronic Arts Chief Creative Officer Bing Gordon will be joining the board and getting actively involved in operations.

This follows a recent $10 million Series A and the investors in that round (Avalon Ventures, Foundry Group and Union Square Ventures) have participated alongside Kleiner and IVP in the Series B.

I suspect this funding will be used to fuel a number of acquisitions. This is borne out by Zynga’s additional announcement that they have acquired YoVille, a virtual-world app that has over 150,000 daily active users on Facebook.

[Hat tip to Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures]

Metarand Unplugged: TechnologyOne’s Adrian Di Marco On The Lack Of Australian Government Focus on Technology

Headquartered in Brisbane, Australia TechnologyOne is a leading enterprise software solutions provider with a fully integrated “Connected Intelligence” suite of products that places it well ahead of its competitors.

In this session of Metarand Unplugged we talk with Adrian Di Marco, the Founder and Executive Chairman of this ASX-listed company.

Adrian has played a major role in building and supporting the Australian information and communications industry, both through his roles on industry bodies and as an investor in early stage ventures. He talks candidly about the Australian government’s paucity of support for this all important industry.

He sits at the helm of one of Australia’s most successful software companies and is clearly passionate about the space and about creating the right kind of framework and ecosystem in the country that will enable it to achieve benefits for years to come.

His thoughts are not only very pertinent to Australia, but also to any other country and group of entrepreneurs faced with a similar situation.

Stream the Session in Quicktime:


Stream the Session as an mp3:


TechCrunch Gets Down To Hard Business

Just as you were thinking the world had righted itself from a tech company like Apple delving into the phone business (and achieving 38% year on year revenue growth), along comes TechCrunch with a bombshell.

This leading tech blogging business has decided to build its own web tablet hardware device. The aim is to create a device that spans the gap between the iPhone and the Macbook Air – the ideal device would be a lightweight small tablet running nothing more than Firefox on a decent screen and with a WiFi connection.

It’s really tough going from being a purely content and connections play into the hardware arena, but here’s why I like it: – the connections side of TechCrunch will be heavily leveraged to create an open source development community and also to bring in the right corporate partners to make sure this succeeds.

Get to it guys and log my order!

4chan: the counterculture netmeme

If you’re not already dialled in, the Guardian has a great article about Chris Poole’s influential message board – 4chan.

David Smith describes the site, which gets 8.5 million page views a day, as an ideas laboratory, capable of unleashing a ferocious creative force. It’s key value proposition is in pointing to what constitutes the current netmeme or zeitgeist of the moment:

Though most of what appears soon vanishes and is forgotten, the stuff that survives can easily jump to the wider web community and ‘go viral’, passing from person to person across the world.

Elevator Pitches: Rule 1, Don’t Hang Your Pet By Its Tail, Even On TechCrunch!

TechCrunch has set up a community video project called Elevator Pitches. Limited to 60 seconds these pitches are voted up or down by the community.

It looks like a fun way to get entrepreneurs to hone their pitching skills and get some coverage. Below is the video from Ugobe‘s CEO, Bob Christopher – it’s an interesting take on the whole elevator pitch by a company with a great product and by the sounds of it, great vision.

But Bob – holding the Pleo by the tail until it squeals breaks the first rule of pitching — keep the focus on your venture and its value proposition…

Google Search 2.0 = Digg Plus Friendfeed

The following video sourced from TechCrunch outlines a possible next iteration of Google Search. It’s very interesting to note the inclusion of Digg-like vote up/down features as well as on-search comments and profiling a la Friendfeed.

Should Google go ahead and implement this new feature set it will make search an order of magnitude more social.