Liz Gannes

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Seesmic Lays Off Half Its Staff as It Pivots Back to Social Cross-Posting

San Francisco start-up Seesmic laid off 18 employees this week, bringing its staff down to 15 people.

The layoffs, which happened on Monday, came as part of a shift away from building enterprise social tools on the Salesforce platform to refocusing on the social posting tools Seesmic already owns.

When reached by phone today, CEO Loic Le Meur said the layoffs were only the latest size reduction Seesmic has seen, as it has reshaped itself many times. Since it launched in 2007, Seesmic has been a video platform, then made Twitter clients and other social tools, and last year tried to make a go with Salesforce CRM products.

“What we’ve been trying for a long time has not worked the way we hoped,” Le Meur said.

In February, the company announced it would be changing and expanding the free social media cross-posting tools it bought in 2010 into a paid service called “Seesmic Ping.”

Seesmic raised $4 million in fresh funding last year from investors including Salesforce and Softbank. Le Meur is well known as the host of the annual LeWeb conference in Paris.

(Screenshot from a much earlier version of Seesmic.)


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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