Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Automattic Buys Simperium, Maker of Simplenote

Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has bought the small synchronization startup Simperium, which makes a syncing platform for developers and a well-loved synced note-taking app for iOS called Simplenote.

SimpermiumThis isn’t one of those talent acquisitions where the products aren’t part of the equation; Automattic expects to continue and extend work on both Simperium and Simplenote.

“Simperium seems like a genuine utility for our own apps, and for other people as a service,” said Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg yesterday. “And Simplenote, as a product, I love, and it’s just darn handy.”

Mullenweg said he first wanted to invest in Simperium, then wanted to do a deal with them, then ultimately acquired the company to get access to the “brilliant” team and make sure their service was backed up by Automattic’s systems and infrastructure.

“I think they can help us completely revamp our mobile apps,” Mullenweg said. “Right now, we download the entire blog post every time in our apps. Simperium only sends the diff (the difference between the two files). It’s way more bandwidth-efficient, and the online-offline opportunities will be huge.”

The three-member Simperium team, led by founders Mike Johnston and Fred Cheng, has already joined Automattic. They will announce today that they are open sourcing their iOS and JavaScript client libraries.

Mullenweg noted that Simperium would become another of Automattic’s developer services, similar to Akismet and Gravatar, which block spam and deliver avatars, respectively.

Disclosure: The AllThingsD site runs on WordPress.


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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