From the category archives:


Swipely Now Wants to be Offermatic

by Ryan on March 4, 2011


You gotta love it when a prediction comes true.  A little over a month ago I predicted a pivot out of Swipely and Blippy because no one is going to their sites and no one want so publicly share credit card transactions.  Well a couple of days ago Mashable announced that Swipely wants to be an auto-rewards network for merchants.  Welcome to the club Swipely, you’ve got some nice competition from Kleiner Perkins funded Offermatic, who after launch has a similarly nascent traffic rank.  Let’s be honest here, both public sharing and rewards networks are tough spaces to play in. Nevertheless, I applaud you for pivoting (man I hate that word) and changing your strategy when you realized it needed to shift. That’s the sign of a good entrepreneur. Good luck with the new vision!

{ 1 comment }

Blippy and Swipely Revisited – 6 months later

by Ryan on January 21, 2011

Blippy Dying

About 6 months ago I posted on how the honeymoon was over for Blippy and Swipely.  Today, I checked in to see if anything had changed.  It looks to me like things are getting worse.  Just as we found out at Audioo that people were not all too interested in sharing voicemails, it seems that people are also not interested in sharing their credit card transactions.  The good news for us was that we didn’t raise $10M to find this out.

Expect a big pivot from these 2 startups soon.  I’m sure they’ll find a way to make it work but I don’t think it’s going to be from the public sharing of your credit card transactions. Look to companies like Pose to find a solid business model in this space.

Is the honeymoon over for @blippy? @pud, perhaps it’s time to buy some new users?

by Ryan on August 4, 2010, the darling of Silicon Valley, having raised a Series B round of $11.2M just 4 months ago, seems to be going through a rough patch these days. US Traffic on the site (as measured by has waned significantly over the past 3 months to what I would call “tiny little, barely funded startup levels”. They’ve been live about 6 months and Blippy’s traffic to date peaked in April 2010 right around the time they were caught up in a privacy leak scandal in which the full credit card number of users were found in Google’s search index cache.

So what will Blippy do to regain it’s momentum? I’m predicting a massive display ad campaign / press circuit / viral campaign tour in the coming months. Regardless, the site has certainly not seemed to take off like a rocket. Perhaps people really don’t want to share their credit card transactions publicly and that a real time stream of purchases is not going to win the social shopping space?

UPDATE: This post was drafted 8/3/2010 around 2pm PST. At 5pm the same day, Blippy made a nice PR move and released a funny 404 page that got great viral coverage. These guys certainly have a good sense of humor. I guess from now on I’ll have to publish posts as they are written because even a one day delay can spoil a scoop.

Posted via email from Ryan Born

Enhanced by Zemanta

We Gave Birth to Our 2nd Child Yesterday in Front of 1,700 People – Watch the Video

by Ryan on May 25, 2010

Yesterday we gave birth to our second child, Audioo (pronounced AWW-DEE-YOU) exactly two years to the day from the birth of our first child, AudioMicro, who was born on May 24, 2008 out of a two bedroom apartment in Sherman Oaks, CA.  This delivery of this glorious new child ( was a little different from that of our first born (, in the sense that the entire delivery process went down live on stage in front of a crowd of over 1,700 people including The Jerky Boys, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York. Watch the live launch here…

The short story here is that AudioMicro, Inc. has acquired Manhattan Beach based and relaunched it as a social destination for the public sharing of voicemails.  Think of Audioo as “Blippy for Voicemail”.  If you are not familiar with Blippy, it’s the darling of Silicon Valley and place for people to publicly share their credit card transactions.  If the public sharing of credit card transactions can get a $46.2 million post money valuation, then the public sharing of voicemail can be an even bigger business!  In fact, I’m willing to bet that there is more interesting and entertaining information in voicemail, than there is in both credit card transactions and tweets.  Have I lost my mind?  Maybe…I guess we’ll find out in due time.

I’m pasting a copy of the press release below and I encourage you to watch the Audioo live launch video above and leave your comments below.  To anyone reading this, thanks so much for your support.

I wonder what we’ll name our next child?  Got any suggestions?


AudioMicro Acquires Audioo, Launches Outrageous New Voicemail Sharing Service

New Service Provides Hilarious Way to Hear and See What People Are Saying in Voicemail

NEW YORK, TECHCRUNCH DISRUPT, May 24, 2010 – AudioMicro, which offers the world’s largest collection of user-generated royalty free music and sound effects, announced today it has acquired Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based Audioo (pronounced AWW-DEE-YOU) and has relaunched the site as an outrageous new voicemail sharing service that enables people to search, browse, and listen-in on other people’s voicemails.  The service—now live—publishes users’ voicemails with transcriptions to the Audioo website and to users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts.  The new Audioo was selected to participate in the “Startup Battlefield” at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, being held May 24-26 in New York.  To register for a free Audioo account, visit

Audioo is hosting a contest, “Jerkin’ with The Jerky Boys.”  All voicemails submitted to Audioo through June 30 will be judged by Johnny Brennan, creator of The Jerky Boys duo and best known for his prank phone calls and other comedic skits.  The winner of the funniest voicemail submitted during the contest period will win an Apple iPad.  More information about the contest is available at

“Audioo users are already sharing every conceivable type of voicemail, including drunk-dial calls, the ramblings of crazy ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, and much more,” said Ryan Born, chief executive officer, AudioMicro and Audioo.  “The service has only been up a short while, but some of the voicemails already posted are just insane.”

The Audioo site enables visitors to browse and listen to voicemails by area code, sort voicemails by category, including “Drunk,” “Funny,” and  “Sexy,” and share voicemails with others via Twitter and Facebook.  Users who submit a voicemail to Audioo receive text transcriptions of uploaded messages.  Audioo is ad-supported, free, and open to all major wireless carriers.  Users can submit messages through a variety of methods: Google Voice subscribers can upload directly through a Mozilla Firefox add-on, or users can upload voicemails to the Audioo site, email an audio file to Audioo, forward messages from a handset, record a voicemail through a computer’s microphone, or leave a message at 1-405-4-AUDIOO.

AudioMicro will operate Audioo as a separate division, and the entire development team will remain with the company.  Audioo President Yuri Baranov will assume the role of chief operating officer for both Audioo and AudioMicro.  Audioo founder Ben Padnos will remain a company advisor.

About Audioo

Audioo is “Blippy for Voicemail.”  The company is building the largest searchable archive of transcribed voice recordings, including localized real-time streams and trending topics.  The Audioo platform allows users to auto-stream, publicly share, and store voicemails from handsets and services, including Google Voice.  Audioo has teamed with The Jerky Boys on an iPad giveaway contest dubbed “Jerkin’ with The Jerky Boys” – submit your voicemails, win a freakin’ iPad!  To submit, call 1-405-4-AUDIOO (1-405-428-3466) or visit

About AudioMicro

An industry pioneer in licensing music and sound effects through credit-based and subscription packages, AudioMicro offers a discovery and distribution platform for stock audio content.  Its collection of stock music, sound effects, free sound effects, and ringtones includes over 300,000 tracks of both crowd-sourced and premium, record- label-owned content.  AudioMicro also operates the Audioo voicemail sharing service.  The company is venture-backed by DFJ Frontier.  For more information, visit

About TechCrunch Disrupt

TechCrunch Disrupt (, May 24-26 2010, at 570 Washington Street, is TechCrunch’s inaugural conference in New York attracting over 1,500 leading technology innovators and investors and over 150 new startups.  The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches.  Morning executive discussions debate the most timely disruptions in media, advertising and technology.  Afternoons host the Startup Battlefield where 25 new companies will launch for the first time on stage, selected to present from more than 500 applications received from around the world.  Another 100 early-stage startups will exhibit in Startup Alley.  TechCrunch will award a $50,000 grand prize along with other award recognitions at the conclusion of the conference.

About TechCrunch

TechCrunch ( is a leading technology media network, dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. Founded in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites reach over 8 million unique visitors and more than 25 million page views per month.  TechCrunch operates a global network of websites including dedicated properties in Europe and Japan as well as specialized industry websites including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, and TechCrunchIT.  TechCrunch’s CrunchBase, is the leading, open database about start-up companies, people and investors.  In addition to Disrupt, TechCrunch hosts other conferences and events, including The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.


Media Contact:

Paige Schoknecht

Prequent, Inc. (for Audioo)

+1 (408) 275-1419 office

+1 (650) 223-4085 mobile