Startup Advice from Dick Costolo, Co-Founder of FeedBurner : Problems with FeedBurner at Google in Migrating and Merging the Technology

Dick Costolo, co-founder and then CEO of FeedBruner, which was acquired by Google for an estimated $100 million in 2007, closed his Burning Door blog in 2008 with some interesting advice for startups in his posting Ask the Wizard.

We had cause to look at his posting again since Google in 2009 is now in the process of migrating and merging FeedBurner feeds into the general Google technology. This affects a great percentage of the blog industry and is having unexpected and in part disastrous effects on the FeedBurner “Reader” stat calculations. Apparently, Google is having trouble keeping FeedBurner running the way it is supposed to run. We see that in our own LawPundit reader stats, which have also been affected. See TechCrunch for the details.

This development is typical for Google by the way. Blogger has never really recovered fully from the day that Google acquired it from PyraLabs, founded by Evan Williams, originally a farm kid from Nebraska, who then went on to co-found Twitter.

I think the problem is that companies like PyraLabs and Twitter are founded by peope who are true visionairies. When their companies are taken over by big operations like Google, the job of merging Google technologies with the new company falls into the responsibility of normal nerds, and that means considerable problems until all the bugs are ironed out.

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