It’s been a busy January for the companies I know the best — first TripIt was acquired by Concur and last week SayNow announced that it’s been purchased by Google. I was a minor advisor to SayNow, and have been involved since the beginning — since before the beginning, really, and I could not be happier for Nikhyl & Ujjwal — these two entrepreneurs deserve all the success and recognition they’ve gotten and will get, and really deserve a lot more.
They started SayNow with a bunch of intuitions that voice communications were an undervalued and underused part of the web — it’s obvious in hindsight, but they were quite early to that conclusion, nearly 5 years ago now. The road from insight to today was anything but obvious, though. Nik & Ujjwal spent lots of time experimenting, building, listening — really trying to figure out how to make the most useful voice service they could.
What impressed me most about their journey is that they were very often working so hard without the adoration of the TechCrunches and GigaOms of the world — they were working on relatively unsexy problems that really mattered, but maybe weren’t the most tweetable. They pivoted many times, they worked incredibly hard, and they just wouldn’t give up.
I’ve known Nikhyl pretty close to forever — probably since my second year at Stanford — and he’s one of my very closest friends and confidants — we’ve talked about so many challenges and successes over the years that it’s hard to imagine my career (or life) without him. And I’ve known Ujjwal since SayNow’s founding, and always been blown away by his commitment, hard work, intelligence, friendliness, and ability to just get things done.
For the two of them and the whole SayNow team, I’m incredibly, incredibly happy for them, and impressed by them, and I can’t wait to see what they do at Google.