December 16, 2010

Flipboard CEO Mike McCue (@mmccue) Has An Amazing Day

One would think that being named to the board of directors of one of the hottest private companies on the Web on the same day they announced a raise of a rumored $200 million would be an incredible achievement in itself. But if this announcement was simply the first part of a 1-2 punch, followed by a major update to the company's signature award-winning application, that's quite a day. That's how Wednesday looked for Flipboard CEO Mike McCue, who ends the day as one of the two newest members on Twitter's Board of Directors, as well as the owner of an increasingly fun to use iPad app that pulls in content from your social streams and RSS subscriptions in an extremely appealing way.

When Flipboard debuted in July of this year, the application brought an immersive magazine-like approach to consuming Facebook and Twitter streams on the iPad. The simplicity and beauty of the app has spawned many competitors to try and bring the look and feel of Flipboard to their apps. New startups emerged calling their products "Flipboard-like" and others were referred to by press as "Flipboard killers". Of course, usually when someone says you're going to be killed, you're actually doing quite well. Such is the case for Flipboard.

Flipboard Adds Google Reader and Flickr

I had the opportunity to sit in a session beside Mike at the Newsfoo conference in Phoenix two weeks ago, and he clearly explained the casual nature of many of the app's users, who flip pages and enjoy the content served up by their friends. While many apps (including my6sense) are aiming for a "less is more" strategy, he relayed that in fact, for this particular experience, "more is more", as users pushed for the addition of Twitter list support and new services. Tonight's addition saw the pull of new services that should impact adoption even more - including that of Google Reader (my personal favorite) and Flickr.

My Google Reader In Flipboard

Now, instead of quirky work-arounds (apologies to Rick Klau) to get to one's feeds, you can add Google Reader and Flickr to Flipboard, making the product more of a great-looking aggregator (albeit service by service one at a time). The application also delivered a much-requested feature to share items out to social networks, alongside a custom URL, making it a more compelling experience.

Links from My Facebook News Feed in Flipboard

Robert Scoble, arguably the loudest evangelist for Flipboard since its launch, says tonight's introduction isn't the one he is waiting for, as he continues to look for intelligence in the app, promised from the company's acquisition of Ellerdale. Obviously, I am eager to see that develop also, but for those folks looking to put their feet up and consume their feeds in a nice way, the addition of these new services is welcome.

As for Mike, that's a pretty good Wednesday. Being named to the board of directors for Twitter and launching a new version of the app isn't half bad. It's pretty close to the 1-2 punch I pulled off with announcing the VP of Marketing role at my6sense on August 23rd and Braden being born on August 24th. But I can see how Flipboard is Mike's baby. What's planned for Thursday? (You can download Flipboard from iTunes here)

Disclosure: I am VP of Marketing for my6sense, which theoretically can be seen as competition for some aspects of Flipboard and Ellerdale.

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