Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Former Yahoo CTO Ari Balogh Joins StumbleUpon

Former Yahoo CTO and EVP Products Ari Balogh is to become StumbleUpon’s VP of engineering, the company said this morning.

Balogh said in an interview that his projects will include “a continuing and unrelenting focus on the recommendation technology,” plus improving features that indoctrinate new users and engage returning users, as well as extending StumbleUpon’s development of the open-source Hadoop database HBase.

Balogh had left Yahoo last April, citing “personal priorities” and a specific family situation.

He said that those issues were resolved last summer, and around the beginning of this year he started looking at various technical and operating roles at both larger companies and start-ups.

Balogh will join StumbleUpon June 1, reporting to StumbleUpon CEO Garrett Camp.

StumbleUpon previously did not have a similar role, with its engineering team reporting to Camp directly. With 70 employees, that was getting understandably unwieldy.

But Balogh said he appreciates that StumbleUpon is small compared to where he came from. “It’s not like Yahoo where there’s a huge chain of platforms,” he said. “It’s a rapid delivery model.”

StumbleUpon has 15 million monthly users and one billion recommendations per month. It recently raised $17 million to support continuing growth after being spun out of eBay in 2009. eBay had bought the company back in 2007 for $75 million in cash.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work