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Dave Sifry

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Profile

Dave Sifry is a technology entrepreneur and software developer based in Silicon Valley, California. He is the founder of Technorati, one of the most popular and widely used indexing services for the blogosphere. Dave is also a widely renowned expert on wireless technology and policy, weblogs, and open source software, and he lectures frequently on the topics. Originally from Long Island, New York, Sifry spent his entire life tinkering with and pioneering new technology. He first experimented and taught himself to program on his Commodore PET computer, and he began his first technology company when he was still a teenager.

Dave attended Johns Hopkins University, where he studied computer science, and after college, Dave lived and worked in Kobe, Japan for Mitsubishi Electric, where he spoke Japanese in a rusty kansai-ben. . Dave first heeded the call to entrepreneurship when he cofounded Sputnik, a Wi-Fi gateway company. He later went on to found Linuxcare, Technorati, and most recently, Offbeat Guides--a personalized travel guide service. He is now working on a startup that is not yet public.

Dave is a recognized expert on leadership development, blogs and the massive changes in the digital media environment, Open Source development, and the Linux operating system. He served as a Technology Pioneer for the World Economic Forum, on the founding Board of Directors of Linux International, and he also advises a number of companies.

Companies and Investments

  • Sputnik (Co-founder)
  • Linuxcare
  • Offbeat Guides
  • Technorati (Founder)


Lessons Learned

Don't be discouraged by big competition

When Dave first started developing Technorati to help index and search the growing blogosphere, he knew that he would eventually have serious competitors--including the behemoth Google, a company whose resources far exceeded his own. Many people discouraged him from proceeding, telling him that he would never be able to compete with Google as a blog search engine...but Dave persisted. He believed that, while Google had a great algorithm for searching and indexing the web, the company wouldn't be as good as Technorati at making sense of the nuanced blogosphere.

His faith in his company's technological and customer experience advantage paid off, and Technorati was successful despite Google's entry into the market with their blog search feature. Dave just focused on what he knew his company could do better than anyone else, and he didn't let a giant competitor discourage him from building Technorati into the successful company that it is today.

A product is like a pregnancy; no matter how many people you throw at it, it still takes 9 months.

A smaller team, Dave says, is always better for a young product. It's easy to throw people and resources at issues which arise. The key to a successful product is to find as few people as possible to deliver the product. Adding more people to a project just slows down the product. A talent pool ratio of three designers/coders to one business person is the best makeup for a start -up team.


Inspiring Quotes

You will be dead soon. Carpe Diem!

Steve Blank

Dave Sifry's Quotes

If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Dave Sifry

Influential Books

Micah L. Sifry - WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency

Mentors

Steve Blank

References


Technical

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