Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Ifttt Raises Funding for Its Digital Duct Tape Service

Ifttt, a start-up that helps even nontechnical users manipulate and connect Web services to do their bidding, has closed its first funding round.

It’s not unexpected that the hot young two-person company would get some cash; in fact, before the round closed, some of it was already reported by ReadWriteWeb.

To be specific, the Ifttt funding was $1.585 million, and came from backers including NEA, Lerer Ventures, Betaworks, Greylock Discovery Fund and CrunchFund.

Ifttt stands for “if this, then that” and rhymes with “lift.” The name’s awkwardness shows a bit of the technical/nontechnical line that Ifttt is trying to straddle.

Users can set up “recipes” to do things like notify themselves with an email when a type of item is posted on Craigslist, cross-post their Flickr photos to Facebook, or archive their Instagram photos to Dropbox.

My colleague, Drake Martinet, who was first to report on Ifttt back in February, called it “digital duct tape.”

Ifttt co-founder Linden Tibbets said this week that the funding will be used to help his two-person operation hire more people. He said some of his goals for Ifttt are to create tools so developers would incorporate his service within their apps (though Ifttt functions on other people’s APIs, it doesn’t yet have an open API of its own), and also to manage the messy smorgasbord of notifications that spray out of social apps. “We could be what RSS could have been,” Tibbets said.

While Tibbets didn’t say how many people are using his service, he did say that, so far, Ifttt users have created 500,000 total tasks that have been executed 90 million times.


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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