How Betaworks Revived Digg

English / Uncategorized / Writing

A great article by Timothy B. Lee on Vox about the story behind Digg’s Revival

So Betaworks had about six weeks to create a new Digg.

The company decided to ditch the user voting system that had been the hallmark of the original Digg. The Digg user community had become too acrimonious — and the front page too spammy — to be salvaged. Instead, the new Digg would use a combination of software and human editors to decide what would go on the home page.

According to McLaughlin, Digg has grown from 1.5 million users per month to 8 million.

Interesting how one old media’s1 trash is a another startup’s treasure. That startup is of course, Betaworks. The company that bought Digg’s brand name and domain in June 2012, and rebuild it to become what the current Digg is. A news aggregator that i use daily. I barely remember the old Digg, and the whole kerfuffle that became the narrative of its fall from glory. What i found even more interesting in this article though, is the working model of Betaworks, the startup incubator:

In a traditional incubator, each startup is run by independent founders who work primarily for equity in their own companies. If a startup fails, its founder-employees are out of a job. In contrast, the people running new Betaworks companies are salaried employees of Betaworks. They move from company to company as needed.

If a Betaworks company fails, the designers, developers, and other talent behind the company are re-assigned to other projects. If a Betaworks company grows large enough to leave the nest, some employees go with the new company but others will return to the mothership to work on another project.

Also these guys are the one who bought Instapaper2 from Marco Arment last year. Great decision by Mr. Arment i should say.

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I write stuff, A recovering RSS feed addicts.