Saturday, March 05, 2011

Greplin: The First Y Combinator Company To Get Me Excited

Image representing Daniel Gross as depicted in...Image via CrunchBaseDon't get me wrong. I am and have been huge on Paul Graham and Y Combinator. Recently I read the name of a friend - 19 years old - in a magazine article. She apparently had graduated from Y Combinator and had just raised a million dollars in funding. I emailed her. Hey, is that you? Yes, it is me, she said. You should also raise money, right now is a great time to do so.

Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Me, BBC

But I have said at this blog a few times that I don't see any iconic company emerging out of Y Combinator. Y Combinator has had a propensity to produce middling companies. A $200 million exist is not impressive.


And let me make it very clear I have not been reading up on Y Combinator companies. There must be gems being spewed out every few months. But I only read about companies that show up in the news.

Greplin, though, changes things. Greplin could possibly end up one of those iconic companies. It's a fascinating story. My message is simple. Watch out for Greplin. Watch out for Daniel Gross. Gross I think just joined that unique club of young college dropouts - wait, the guy never went to college - who went on to do something big.

Inc.: How This 19-Year-Old Is Taking On Google
Y Combinator's youngest founder ..... Daniel Gross ..... Where might you want to search that Google can't reach?
photo of Paul GrahamImage via WikipediaThe social slice of the Web, plus everything that an individual has password-protected hovering in the cloud, has been largely off-limits to traditional search engines. ...... three months at Y Combinator, bombed on a few projects, and then struck gold in his last 48 hours at the start-up incubator ...... Greplin, a user-authorized search that can access Facebook, Twitter, Google Documents, Salesforce, and more. ...... and I was all set to go into the Israeli Army. I applied to Y Combinator. And not thinking I'd get in, I was invited to an interview. I thought of it as a fun long weekend in San Francisco. They had an odd reaction—they didn't quite like what I was working on, but I guess they liked me. They wanted me to come back, so I hopped back on a plane. ....... In my three months there, I built several things, none of which caught on. ...... I created a very, very, very basic demo in that 48 hours. ...... raising $780,000 in angel funding. It was from a pretty cool team, the guy who made Gmail, Paul Buchheit, and Chris Dixon, and the guy who did Square. Also the CTO of Facebook, Bret Taylor. ...... Greplin was the one project idea I had for which I was the target audience...... the word grep, which in CS programming is essentially a command for search ..... we had this weird problem where we didn't know so many people would use it. ..... we spent September through last month reworking it all. ..... we raised $4 million from Sequoia in December, and kept programming, and then just lauched the site, and we're trying to keep it growing since. ...... You say you're not trying to compete with Google, but what you've created seems a lot like Google for social media and cloud-computing. ...... I don't think I have a single piece of information that's solely on my laptop. ...... I was always fascinated by the greater speed start-ups function at versus larger corporations. .... If we can create something that's a household name and that people use every day, that's a dream.
Image representing Chris Dixon as depicted in ...Image via CrunchBase
The final 48 hours part is really interesting. It makes total sense.

I think Chris Dixon just hit a jackpot.


And it is key to note the guy built this for his own personal use.

Say hi to Daniel.
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