I Summize Big Changes at Twitter

July 8, 2008 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

If rumors are true, and they so often are, Twitter will finally get the brain power it needs to keep its 1.5-million active users happily tweeting.  Summize is not just a better Twitter search, it’s an experienced development and management team waiting in the wings.

I’ve known Summize CEO, Ajaipal “Jay” Virdy, for nearly 15 years, having worked with him at his previous startup, LocalEyes, the first geo-specific search engine acquired by AOL, where he remained in management hell for the previous 8 years.  Jay is a true visionary.  As such, he is able to identify a deficiency in the way people search for information and provide a solution that is both simple and breathtaking.  Those aren’t words easily associated with software development, but in his case, it’s true.  I’ve slept at his house, drunken his scotch, talked about everything from Web 2.0 to music to parenting.  And, provided my two-cents on his ideas, of which, he has about five good ones a day.  It is a friendship formed during the early days of the Web and he has been a constant in my life and career development.

CTO and Co-founder Greg Pass was also from a prior search startup, ToFish.  They got gobbled up by AOL before they ever launched a product, but it had something to do with image search.   I have always found Greg to have an acute business mind, even though he is a Cornell graduate (author’s note: my brother and sister both attended the great Ithaca, NY-based Ivy institution).  And, if the name Abdur Chowhury sounds familiar, you may remember him as the fall-guy at AOL research who released user data before it was scrubbed.  Don’t let that blunder define Abdur’s contributions to search.  He is a giant in the field – the real deal.  And, a very nice, down-to-earth guy if you can get past his intimidating intellect.

If rumors are true, Twitter will be getting a great conversational search platform.  But, I suspect this acquisition is about much more than Twitter search.  These guys have the chops to turn Twitter into the great communications platform it was intended to be.  And for that, we’ll all be better off.

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Entry filed under: acquisitions. Tags: , .

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