If you haven’t heard of Biz Stone, you probably should, he is the co-founder of this little messaging platform you may have heard of called Twitter. Biz’s next company is called Jelly and it has lived on JellyHQ.com as they’ve prepared the app for primetime. While the development has been going on behind-the-scenes the blog has done a great job of highlighting the amazing team they are putting together. Just like McDonald’s is in the real estate business (not the burger business), you will quickly find that both Ev and Biz are in the “finding amazing people” business more than anything. Yes they are innovators, but they know it takes an amazing team to build something truly remarkable.
The idea behind Jelly is simple but powerful, and yes, not surprisingly it does play very nicely with Twitter. You can think of Jelly as a new way to search for things that uses pictures and your social network to provide better answers. Have you ever done a Google search and found some spammy page at the top? Would any of your friends recommend this page? Probably not.
Jelly is a different kind of search engine that doesn’t just look through a huge index of pages but instead asks people you know and trust.
We are getting to a point in society where enough of our friends are online that we can really tap a trusted network in ways never before possible. Companies like Quietly are leveraging your friends to organize and discover recommendations and now Biz Stone is doing the same for search with Jelly. According to the Jelly blog:
“Jelly changes how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks. It turns out that getting answers from people is very different from retrieving information with algorithms. Also, it has the added benefit of being fun.” (blog.jelly.co)
Sounds like a big goal? It is, but in case you missed the memo Biz doesn’t really do small, not including the whole 140 character thing… Big ideas need great teams and I wanted to highlight a few of the amazing people behind Jelly:
Ben Finkel (Co-founder) – worked at MIT Lincoln Labs, founded a company called Fluther that was acquired by Twitter, was on the Growth Team at Twitter
Austin Sarner (Employee #1) – built Pop Pop Press which won an Apple Design award for multi-touch UI and was sold to Facebook
Kevin Thau – ran Mobile at Twitter
The list of Angel’s and Advisors supporting Jelly is pretty darn impressive too:
Jack Dorsey, Co-founder and CEO of Square
Bono, Musician and Activist
Reid Hoffman with the Greylock Discovery Fund
Steven Johnson, Author and Entrepreneur
Evan Williams and Jason Goldman via Obvious
Al Gore, Politician, Philanthropist, Nobel Laureate
Greg Yaitanes, Emmy Winning Director
Roya Mahboob, Afghan Entrepreneur and Businesswoman
Oh and in case you didn’t notice, they’re building Jelly on a .CO. Since Jelly.com belongs to a foodmaker any traffic that is lost will immediately understand they’re in the wrong place. Plus it’s an app so everyone will just go to the app store, search for Jelly, and instantly find the app, download it, and the rest is history.
Huge congrats to Biz, Ben and team. It’s a very big idea, incredibly hard to do and I think there’s only a few people on the planet that could do it right. That being said I think we all can agree that they are the few. One thing is certain for me in 2014, I won’t be searching for everything on Google any more…