Mark Fletcher, the man who built one of the first easy email group services online and sold it to Yahoo! for $400 million, then built former market-leading RSS reader Bloglines and sold it to Ask.com, plans to launch a new service next week called SnapGroups (currently password protected).
Fletcher planned on unveiling the company tonight at Dave McClure’s Palo Alto event Lean Startups but had technical problems hours before going on stage that delayed the launch of the site. None the less, he offered some details about what we can expect next week.
Fletcher said he used outsourced development and design services extensively in creating SnapGroups. He built the site for a mere $6k, a tiny fraction of what it took to build his previous products. There will be Twitter integration at launch and Facebook integration later. “We will tap into power-user groups at first,” Fletcher explained, “and have larger moderator groups to help shape the service going forward.”
How I Found This Story…
A Tweet from Mark Fletcher flew past me this afternoon reading: “git tag -a v1.0 -m ‘Launch tag'” To be honest, I don’t know what exactly that means, but I had a theory. I sent him a DM (thankfully he was following me) to ask if he was launching something. He said he was but was still deciding when. A few hours later a Tweet from Dave McClure, who I watch very closely, read: “LIVE: http://Startup2Startup.com Mark Fletcher #LeanStartup 2.0 (@wingedpig) webcast NOW: http://bit.ly/bWA2Fx #s2s” I clicked on that link, found a UStream live video from tonight’s event and wrote it up as the conversation went on. I completed the write-up and posted about 60 seconds before Fletcher left the stage. It was fun.
Fletcher is a humble, soft-spoken innovator with a remarkable track record. OneList, the company that became Yahoo! Groups, was a defining technology for an era where hundreds of millions of people came online and found distributed communities for the first time. Bloglines was an equally powerful if far less popular technology. The market-leading RSS reader until the rise of Google Reader, Bloglines was the tool of choice for millions of people harnessing the power of user-driven syndication for the first time. RSS is a world-changing technology and Fletcher built the first popular interface for it.Here at ReadWriteWeb we agree that groups are where it’s at, see our write-up titled Groups: The Secret Weapon of the Social Web. We’re very excited to see how Fletcher productizes the ability to communicate with groups of people. Watch this space next week.
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