What a difference a few months make. NewsBlur was a side-project of mine for two years. In March of this year, I committed myself full-time and went from developing NewsBlur almost entirely on the NYC subway to writing code every waking minute of the day.
And now there are three big announcements to make.
The big news of the day is that you can now share stories on NewsBlur. When you share a story, your comments and the original story are posted to your blurblog. Your blurblog is a simple and customizable website. People can comment and reply directly on your blurblog, and you can follow your friends to read the news stories and blog posts that they care about.
Since you’re good at picking your friends, and your friends are good at picking their friends, you will see friends of friends show up, expanding your network with shared stories that you will enjoy. It’s a new way of sharing the news. And because NewsBlur is already an easy to use news reader, it’s simple to find and share stories that your friends will care about.
Every NewsBlur user has their own blurblog. All you have to do is signup for an account on www.newsblur.com and share interesting stories.
For those of you who work with computer science, you may know that a Y-combinator generalizes recursion, abstracting its implementation, and thereby separating it from the actual work of the function in question.1
I’m pleased as punch to announce an investment in NewsBlur by Y Combinator, the investment firm. Over the past two months, we’ve been humbled by the roster of experienced partners giving us candid advice. It’s their tough love that is the catalyst for the next few months of transitioning NewsBlur from side project to world-class news reader. Expect NewsBlur to become simpler and more refined.
When Y Combinator accepted me as a solo founder, their first piece of advice was to find a co-founder. Looking at every successful startup, a common pattern emerges. Every great startup has multiple people carrying the load when the company takes off.
There is one person on this planet that I would trust as a co-founder. His name is Roy Yang and we have been friends since we met in New York four years ago. We worked together for nearly two years at Daylife, another news startup. I attended his wedding last year in Mexico, and he was the only person I called when I knew I needed somebody talented, focused, and able to complement me on a project that demands enormous time and effort.
Roy is now responsible for both iOS apps and is instrumental in challenging me when I think I’m right and am clearly not. He’s got the patience of a monk and the determination of a true New Yorker. Follow Roy’s blurblog to keep up with him.
This summer marks the beginning of NewsBlur as a full-time startup. Look forward to new mobile apps, new designs, and new features. Here’s a quick idea of what we’re working on for the next few weeks:
— Samuel Clay, @samuelclay