Big congratulations to the Sphere team for selling their company to AOL (and to AOL for a smart acquisition). It couldn’t have happened to a nicer and more talented group of people. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Sphere as an adviser for several years. My main early contribution was to bring together the founding team – Tony Conrad, Steve Nieker, and Martin Remy (they generously give me co-founder credit as well). I knew Tony, Steve and Martin from my Oddpost days (Tony was a VC investor in Oddpost; Steve and Martin had an RSS/blog search and recommendation product called Waypath that we were thinking of integrating into Oddpost). Tony had left his VC job and Steve and Martin were looking for a business person to help them grow their company. So I introduced them and they hit it off. I helped out with the initial Sphere launch as much as my job allowed (I was at Yahoo at the time) and they went on to build a great team, create a series of innovative content matching services, and sign up over 60,000 sites to use their products. I’ll also note that Sphere is one of a new breed of 100% virtual companies (everyone works from their own home offices and meets up in person every few months) – good to see a virtual company build a strong business and get acquired by someone like AOL.
One reply on “AOL buys Sphere”
Thanks Toni – you were the catalyst for us pulling together Sphere. Oddpost gave me the bug and the road-map for how to build a business in a frugal, yet intelligent manner. So far, we've been lucky in our work together: Oddpost, Sphere, Automattic and True Ventures. Here's to you!