Biz Stone continues to round out the team at Jelly

Steven Loeb · July 12, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3099

Start up hires Apple engineer Brian Kadar, but still no clues as to what Jelly actually is

There are many questions surrounding the new start up from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, called Jelly. with the biggest one being: what exactly is it? But that has not stopped him from building out an impressive team, which got one person bigger.

Former Apple engineer Brian Kadar has joined Jelly, it was announced Thursday. 

"Born and raised in Queens, NY, Brian has a BFA in Visual Communications which he decided to use as a backdrop for pursing web development. Before Apple, Brian built experiences for brands at a boutique advertising agency in NYC," Jelly wrote in a blog post.

"Ben and Austin were lucky enough to be introduced to Brian through a mutual friend. Before I’d even had a chance to meet him, Brian started building some amazing mobile web experiences based on the basic concept of Jelly."

Of course, we still have no idea what that "basic concept" even is, but it must be good for the talent that it is attracting.

Since the existance of Jelly was first announced in April, it has added six employees, including engineer Austin Sarner, who helped develop Push Pop Press before it was sold to Facebook; and the Head of Twitter's recently released #Music app Kevin Thau.

Last month alone, Jelly added four new people: Camille Hart, former the EA to the COO of Facebook, as the new Chief of Staff; Alexa Grafera, former illustrator for the hit iPhone game, “Heads Up!", as a designer; Loren Brichter, an engineer at Apple who worked on the original iPhone and maker of Letterpress, as the first member of Jelly’s Executive Advisory Board; and Luke St. Clair, former Android Developer at Facebook, as a software developer,

Jelly was co-founded by Ben Finkel, who also co-founded Q&A service Fluther, where Stone had been an advisor. The startup was eventually acquired by Twitter and Finkel is now Jelly's CTO.

Jelly has also been able to raise money from a pretty remarkable roster of investors.

In May, the company raised an undisclosed amount of money in a round led by Spark Capital with additional investment by SV Angel

In addition to the two investors, Jelly also received funding from a group of high profile individual investor: Square CEO Jack Dorsey; U2 frontman Bono; Reid Hoffman, with the Greylock Discovery Fund; Stone's Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and Jason Goldman via Obvious; former Vice President Al Gore; Emmy winning director Greg Yaitanes; author and entrepreneur Steven Johnson; and Afghan entrepreneur and businesswoman Roya Mahboob.

All I can say that can be said about what Jelly actually is is that it seems to have something to do with mobile.

"As mobile devices have taken an increasingly central role in our lives, humanity has grown more connected than ever—herein lies massive opportunity," said Stone. 

Also, it was named after the jellyfish "because neurologically, its brain is more 'we' than 'me'" according to Stone.

Beyond that, it is anyone's guess, though Stone promises to share more information about the company when it is able to "move beyond early prototyping."

Here's hoping that that time comes soon. I'm honestly a getting a little tired of all the mystery.

(Image source: https://jellyhq.com)

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Twitter

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.

 

What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.