Plinky was the fourth company I started at Polaris. My co-founder and Plinky CEO was former Googler Jason Shellen who was at Pyra Labs, maker of Blogger, with @ev of Twitter and then created Google Reader. About a year into the adventure, as a result of the 2008 crash, Plinky pivoted hard and became Thing Labs. AOL acquired the company in 2010.
The story is one of serendipity. Jason and I met through my partner Mike Hirshland. Jason had some novel ideas about how to drive consumer engagement by radically changing the experience for creating user-generated content. At the time I had been thinking a lot about UGC monetization in the context of SEO. We hit it off and our ideas meshed nicely. We talked casually about starting something for a few months and in early April of 2008 we decided to go for it. Two months later Polaris, SoftTech VC (Jeff Clavier) and some West Coast angels seeded the company. Later on, Ron Conway joined the investor group also.
Working with Jason got me deep into the social Web. I was interim CTO at Plinky for a little over a year until we recruited Chris Wetherell (Google/Twitter) to lead development full time. Chris brought in technology that turned Plinky into Thing Labs and led to the Brizzly product line.