Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Twilio’s Danielle Morrill Leaves to Found Affiliate Start-Up Referly

Danielle Morrill, the well-known young director of marketing at developer-focused cloud communication start-up Twilio and its first employee, has left to found her own company: Referly.

27-year-old Danielle Morrill is co-founder and CEO of the new start-up Referly.

Referly aims to introduce incentives into discussions by regular people about regular things, by embedding affiliate links in their conversations. At launch today, it is a link shortener that appends an affiliate tracking code.

Many other companies, including MyLikes and Klout, try to reward people for their social media participation, but Morrill said she thinks they end up rewarding self-promoters and scammers rather than average people.

Referly has already raised seed funding and been accepted into the next Y Combinator round, and since then Morrill convinced her husband, Kevin Morrill, to join as co-founder and CTO from an engineering role at HelloFax, she said. Designer Al Abut, formerly of AOL, is also a co-founder.

Twilio recently hired former Jive exec Lynda Smith as chief marketing officer.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik