My Obsession With Online Identity
Today, we announced that we’ve led an $11 million round for about.me and that I’ve joined the board.
I’ve been living online since the mid 1990’s. I’ve tried every service I could find to create an online identity for myself, even Geocities. Today, my identity is spread out over many things, including my blog, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare, our Foundry Group site, the Startup Revolution site, my relatively inactive Tumblr, Facebook, and a hundred other services I’ve dabbled with.
When about.me appeared several years ago, I thought it was clever. I created an early about.me account and then promptly forgot about it after AOL acquired it. I was intrigued when Tony Conrad, the co-founder, acquired it back from AOL. I started paying attention to it again, especially since I was deep in the opposite side of the problem about.me addresses with our investment in FullContact.
I’ve known Tony for a long time and love working with him. I remember sitting in some theater in Chicago waiting to go on a panel at some startup event a few years ago and Tony literally grabbed my by the shoulders and said “you’ve got to meet this guy Bre Pettis.” That turned into our investment in Makerbot and another step along the path to me helping the machines take over.
When Tony reached out to me recently and said he was raising a round for about.me, I jumped on it. At first I thought he’d already raised too much money for us to be interested, but when I realized he still had a lot of it in the bank, I got comfortable with going deep. It was an easy call – Tony is amazing, the numbers are amazing, the product is amazing, and he’s completely obsessed with it. As am I.
If you don’t have an about.me account, go sign up and give it a spin. And get ready for some really awesome things, coming very soon.