Category Archives: News Basis

Announcing my new startup: Plato’s Forms (+ funding, yay!)

This morning’s TechCrunch post and last Friday’s Startup Crawl heralds the public announcement of my new startup – Plato’s Forms.

Plato's Forms logo

I’ve been working with Darryl Siry (former CMO Tesla Motors) on this project since Spring, with us producing a demo for investors in September/early-October. That seemed to be successful because we managed to raise $545k angel round, led by a group of private investors, Darryl and ZelkovaVC (although the note remains open to $750k if anyone wants to get in at this early stage!).

So what are we building?

Well, the problem space we are addressing is the perpetuation of of miss-information and inaccurate information within the online news environment. A piece is written up about your product/service/company that contains some incorrect facts or draws a conclusion that didn’t include a pertinent piece of information. Maybe you are frustrated the journalist didn’t reach out to you during the creation of their article and you want to reach out. Or perhaps a piece on a competitor misses an opportunity to present an alternative perspective around your product/service/company.

The solution is a professional communication platform that allows PR/corporate communication professionals to engage journalists and pro-bloggers in a ‘velvet rope’ vetted environment. There are a number of products we’re building on top of this platform, but we’re not talking about implementation points right now — we have some very interesting ways to solve these problems. :)

Some of these problems (and solutions) are new. Some are just reducing the friction of the existing communication mechanisms these folk already have in place.

What’s under the hood?

Everything is Ruby on Rails… very agile, very rapid development. It’s my first time working with RoR and I’m really enjoying the experience. Pivotal Tracker continues to be an amazing productivity tool for development, and I’m beginning to wonder how I ever worked before DropBox, EtherPad and BaseCamp.

BTW if this all sounds like fun (which it is) we’re looking for top Ruby on Rails talent right now, working out of our digs in South Park, SF!

Busy bee

Plato’s Forms is obviously going to be my main project and focus moving forward, although for now I will continue to work with Seesmic on a small scale (my BlackBerry app shipped last week) and maintain my advisory board responsibilities with my portfolio.

Oh and I’m going to be in Europe for most of December – MC’ing at Le Web in Paris again, and then Christmas at home in London.