July 20, 2006
Feedburner…They’re Real AND They’re Spectacular
Sometime in early 2004, I met Dick Costolo, the CEO of Feedburner. We met about at the same time he also met Fred and Brad (I can’t remember who met who first), both of whom subsequently invested in the company. We hit it off and had a number of informal and formal conversations over the past two and a half years about online media, the interplay of RSS and email and blogs, and entrepreneurship. Feedburner and Return Path have developed a still-somewhat nascent partnership as well to bring ads in feeds and ads on blogs to Return Path’s Postmaster advertisers.
I was recently fortunate enough to be invited by Dick and his team to join Feedburner’s Board of Directors. You can read the official note (as official as Feedburner gets!) on Feedburner’s blog here. I am huge Feedburner fan and am jazzed to be part of their extended team. The company is impressively leading its market of RSS publisher services and RSS advertising. It’s all very reminiscent of the early days of email, and the early days of banner advertising before that. More than that, though, I’ve been incredibly impressed with how the company operates. They execute swiftly and flawlessly, they have a ton of fun doing it, and they have a very authentic voice and ethos for communicating with and handling their customers that I admire tremendously. Very Cluetrain Manifesto.
In a much earlier posting, I wrote that entrepreneurs should join other boards as well to get more experience with how different organizations are run and how different board dynamics work, so I guess this means I’m following my own advice. And so far, it’s all true — I’ve gotten a lot out of the first couple of meetings I’ve attended. It’s a little weird for me to be the “old media” guy around the table (old meaning web and email, of course), so I’ll have to work hard to not be a Luddite and keep pace with all the new toys.