Liz Gannes

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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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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