Interview with David Sacks, Geni and Yammer


Our interview this morning is with David Sacks, CEO of, an online family tree and social networking site, as well as Yammer, the instant messaging startup spun out of at TechCrunch50. Now, let's talk about Yammer. How did Yammer come about?

Yammer Gets Top Prize At Tech Conference


Yammer, a Twitter-like spinout out of high profile Los Angeles genealogy firm, has scored the top prize at the TechCrunch50 awards in San Francisco. Yammer offers instant messaging focused on internal corporate communications, and is the result of work by engineers at Geni. Geni is the online, Web 2.0-style genealogy and social networking web site headed up by former PayPal founder David Sacks; the firm is venture backed by Charles River Ventures and Founders Fund.

Trending Sources

BetterWorks Expands To San Francisco Bay Area


The firm--headed by Paige Craig--helps provide employee benefits and perks using web-based software and technology. Craig's co-founders include Zao Yang, the creator of Farmville, and George Ishii, co-founder of Geni and Yammer. Santa Monica-based BetterWorks said today that it has expanded its services into San Francisco and the Bay Area, and is planning on opening up in New York and Boston soon.

Betterworks Raises $1.5M


Craig has recruited the co-creater of Zynga's Farmville game, Sizhao Yang, as well as George Ishii, who was co-founder of and Yammer, as co-founders. BetterWorks looks to be scaling up dramatically; the firm currently has eight open positions listed on its web site for everything from engineers to marketing director. Santa Monica-based BetterWorks , a stealth mode startup headed by well known angel investor Paige Craig, has raised around $1.5M in a funding round.

Is Silicon Valley Really Coming to an End?

Both Sides of the Table

By now you probably know that David Sacks , co-founder of PayPal and founder of both Geni & Yammer made some observations on Facebook that Silicon Valley “as we know it” was coming to an end.

The Amazing Power of Deflationary Economics for Startups

Both Sides of the Table

And then they decided they wanted to be the Internet retailer of computing services so they created Amazon Web Services. Of course I could go on and on including businesses like AirBnB, DropBox,, Yammer and so on. I’m often asked by people what investment areas interest me.

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Announcing a Deal I’ve Wanted to Talk About for a Year

Both Sides of the Table

RedBeacon was the 3rd winner (year 1: Yammer, year 2: – not bad company. And in a world where we increasingly log in to personal web time at late hours or on our mobile phones that’s no longer good enough. Let me not bury the lede.

SEM 51

Data is the Next Major Layer of the Cloud & A Major Victory for Startups

Both Sides of the Table

We put all of this infrastructure in an Exodus web hosting facility and had to pay for rack space, bandwidth and some management services if a disk failed, for example. Today Factual announced that it raised $25 million from Andreessen Horowitz & Index Ventures.

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Interview with Jon Ferrara, Nimble


Unfortunately, despite the wealth of Internet based tools for email management, web-based sales management tools, and more, contact tracking has been mostly an afterthought in the Internet age.

Sales 28

Is WebEx “Dead Man Walking?”

Both Sides of the Table

This week I was preparing for my weekly This Week in Venture Capital web show and was researching some of the deals that were announced for the week. Aside from attacking yet another market segment all I could think about is, “Why enter the web conferencing market.

Social Networking and Business Value


Top officers of some of the leading social media websites and tools (including Facebook, MySpace and Yammer) will be on the Panel, and there will be panelists from the worlds of media sharing platforms (Pringo), online advertising (Stun Media) and law (Greenberg Glusker), the latter to highlight risks relating to such issues as corporate blogging and privacy. He is known for being able to monetize the social web.

Layoffs Hot Keyword for Second Half of January 2009


Last month we Launched Los Angeles Tech and in the announcement we provide the Hot List for the first half of January 2009. This hot list is based on various social signals of what people are writing about, reading, bookmarking, searching, etc. You can go to the Hot List post to see what was hot then. But, in running it now for the second half of January, the keyword that popped to the top was: Layoffs And this is definitely a sign of the times.

Negative Customer Acquisition Costs - Creative Startup Marketing Ideas - Eric David Greenspan


A typical day starts with email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yammer checks/updates. I frequently work on networking through the social web and building new relationships that will foster knowledge gathering or business growth. We need to spend some time discussing what you do with the social web.

This Week in VC with Dana Settle of Greycroft Partners

Both Sides of the Table

Gilt Group is currently the largest private sale web site in US. Configurable from desktop-based web-based UI. Yammer, Salesforce Chatter.

This Week in Venture Capital – Episode 3

Both Sides of the Table

And I know that great startups like Yammer are doing well. Tynt Multimedia “Online tool that allows content sites to control copy-paste activity on their web sites.&# For starters I LOVE the idea for this product. OK, it’s official!

What Makes an Entrepreneur (3/11) – Ability to Pivot

Both Sides of the Table beget Yammer. They had started to launch new products that helped web site owners better load applications from third-party vendors and they started experimenting with totally new ad models that drove the daily revenue up by 7x in less than 30 days.