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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Top 15 Companies Founded By Ex-Employees Of Google


In recent years, many Xooglers (that’s what former Googlers call themselves) left Google and went on to start-up new businesses and made headlines everywhere. Some of the companies were acquired by Google and the founders started working for Google again.

1. Ooyala

Ooyala is a platform for online video publishing and monetization. Founded by ex-Googlers Sean Knapp, Bismarck Lepe, and Belsasar Lepe in 2007, it links ads to video content, and provides a host of additional enterprise-level features, including analytics and mobile delivery.

Since launch, Ooyala and its video platform Backlot have been used by major companies to manage and monetize their video assets, including Dell, Electronic Arts, Hearst Corporation, and Telegraph Media Group.


2. Dasient

Planting malware on innocent websites is a convenient way for cyber-criminals to distribute viruses without e-mailing each of their victims individually. The sites that they target often end up remaining on the blacklists of security software and search engines even after they’ve removed the problem.

Dasient helps sites by monitoring for malicious code so they won’t end up on the dreaded blacklist. Two of the three founders who launched the company in 2009 are former Google employees. Neil Daswani was a Google security engineer manager and Shariq Rizvi was a member of Google’s Webserver and App Engine teams. The third founder, Ameet Ranadive, is a former McKinsey strategy consultant.


3. TellApart

Created by the guys who founded the Google AdWords API team in 2004, TellApart works with a company’s own e-commerce data to identify their best customers and predict who will be their best customers in the future. It also creates customized display ads for those customers, and serves them off-site.

4. Cuil

It’s not surprising that Anna Patterson, a former architect of Google’s search index, went on to create a search engine. It is unusual to find a search engine that departs from the standard list of blue links. Cuil algorithmically clusters results so that a search for “Abraham Lincoln” creates separate report pages for the “USS Abraham Lincoln,” “President Abraham Lincoln” and the “Abraham Lincoln Brigade.” In addition to traditional search results, it combines the documents to create a “report” with information groups and key words within the topic.

5. FriendFeed

FriendFeed allows users to share photos, articles, and other media in a news feed for their friends to “Like” or comment on. After shamelessly borrowing the startup’s key features, Facebook bought FriendFeed in 2009, taking with it FriendFeed co-founder and Gmail creator Paul Buchheit.

6. Redbeacon

Redbeacon is like an updated version of Craigslist that helps users locate qualified service providers for nearly any job. Users submit the type of work to be done, along with the required time frame, and local professionals compete for the work with price quotes and availability.

When a user chooses who they want for the job, Redbeacon allows them to book the service online. It’s not quite the startup you would expect from founders Ethan Anderson and Aaron Lee, who were responsible for launching Google’s video product before the YouTube acquisition in 2006, or from Yaron Binur, who led the development of Google News


7. Mixer Labs

The co-founder of Mixer Labs was also a co-founder of Google’s Mobile Team, and was the first project manager of Google Mobile Maps. Mixer Labs’ Geo API service helps developers integrate location into their apps. Twitter apparently decided it could also use this kind of assistance and purchased Mixer Labs in December 2009.

8. Howcast

All three of the Howcast founders worked on the Google Video Team at one point. Their startup focuses on producing instructional videos, everything from “How to Cope With Boring Office Work” to “How to Induce Labor Naturally” and claims to be approaching two million downloads across iPhone, iPad,Android, and BlackBerry phones.

9. MyLikes

MyLikes gives anybody with an online social network the opportunity to sell advertising. Users sign up to give personal endorsements for specific products, which are posted on their Twitter and Facebook accounts. Every time a friend clicks on an endorsed advertisement, MyLikes either pays the poster or donates to her selected charity.

Co-founders Bindu Reddy and Arvind Sundararajan aren’t the only ex-Googlers who believe in the idea. The company is also backed entirely by former Google personnel.


10. Weatherbill

A lot of insurance companies offer umbrella insurance, but few offer rain insurance. Former Google employees David Friedberg and Siraj Khaliq created Weatherbill to cover companies with revenue streams that can be drastically impacted by an unexpected change in the weather.

Event planners, ski resorts, snow removal services, and tourism-related businesses that live and die by weather conditions can use the service to save the day. The entire country of Barbados, for instance, used Weatherbill to offer visitors $100 for every day that the weather was considered anything less than perfect.


11. Doapp

Doapps founder Joe Sriver was Google’s first user interface designer. The company aims to “develop consumer and business apps for websites, desktops, and mobile devices that help you do useful things, make you more productive, and enhance your online life.”

It also happens to be the developer behind the beloved Whoopie Cushion App.


12. reMail

ReMail provides advanced e-mail search capabilities for the iPhone. At least it did, until Google purchased it from founder Gabor Cselle in February. Proving that you can never really leave Google, Cselle re-joined the Google team as a product manager after the acquisition.

13. Aardvark

Another startup founded by ex-Googlers, only to be acquired by Google, Aardvark takes your questions and finds people in your own social network to answer them. Instead of spamming your inquiries to all of your online friends, which you could do without any help, Aardvark finds the friends and the friends of friends who are most likely to have the answer.

Google paid $50 million for the company in February 2010, the service is still a Google Labs project but it could become an integral part of Google Search or Android.


14. Hawthorne Labs

Apollo is a newspaper for the iPad. It’s just one of the products from startup Hawthorne Labs, and features an algorithm that learns what articles and sources you enjoy, and helps you discover new content based on your personal preferences and viewing history. Co-founder Shubham Mittal previously worked for both Microsoft and Google.

15. AppJet

Two of the three founders of AppJet were Google engineers. And since Google acquired AppJet an year ago, they’re working for Google again. The team, which created real-time document collaboration software called EtherPad, joined the now deceased Google Wave group.


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