Archive for April, 2007

Y Combinator: An assembly line for tech start-ups

Xobni was featured in a fun piece about Y Combinator which appeared in today’s San Jose Mercury.
Here is the story.

Press: planned or unplanned, it's all good

At 5:00 am this morning I was awakened by the familiar buzz of my Treo alerting me of a new email. I rolled over and checked my phone. This morning the email was from Google. No, it wasn’t their M&A team offering us VP positions, corner offices, and a healthy acquisition price. Instead, it was an email from the Google Alerts service.

Google Alerts is a sweet service from Google which sends you an email when someone posts material on the web containing a word or phrase of interest to you. I have alerts set for “Xobni” and “Matt Brezina.” This morning’s alert was to inform me that our friend Jessica Guynn at the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about Xobni and our startup friends (, on the front page of this Sunday’s business section.

The story is a startup culture piece. It focuses on our now famous friends at, and the fantastic culture we’ve developed in the North Beach apartment building that houses seven successful Y Combinator funded companies. These guys (yes they are all guys) are all kicking butt, and we are having a blast living the adventure together.

matt brezina skiThe last time I got a deluge of Google alert emails was on a Saturday two weeks ago. I had joined my little brother for a two day ski trip in Breckenridge, Colorado. I came off the slope for lunch and checked my phone with the urgency of a 40 year old chain-smoker after arriving in Los Angeles on the JFK to LAX direct flight. I rarely go more than 30 minutes without checking my email.

It had been four hours since I last checked my email and I had over 40 messages. Half were from Google Alerts and the other twenty had a subject line containing the word “congratulations”. The whole world now knew the confident smile on Adam and my faces for the past month was a result of raising over $4 million dollars in series A financing from Khosla Ventures and other investors.

khosla logoWe were trying to keep this news quiet, but a pesky Form D SEC filing put the news in the public arena. We wanted to reserve the press attention for a boost of buzz closer to launch. We also didn’t want to tip off our competitors to our existence. (Hello!) But, these things can’t always be planned.

We learned after the leak that often companies don’t file the mandatory Form D. It’s legally questionable, but I’ll remember that for my next company.

The financing news has caused a lot of qualified candidates to pass their resumes our way, a result for which we are very grateful. I’m not sure what this Sunday’s Chronicle article will garner, probably a phone call from my grandma.

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Xobni’s contact management products offer lightning fast email search and organization of your inbox, as well as an innovative and comprehensive address book for the mobile device.


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