Yahoo and Upcoming, Sitting In A Tree

Two years ago, I launched Upcoming.org and announced it to the world. Today, along with my partners Gordon Luk and Leonard Lin, I’m unbelievably proud to announce that Upcoming.org is now a member of the Yahoo! family.

I’ve always had a warm and fuzzy feeling about Yahoo. It’s been my browser homepage since forever, and I still have akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo/ stuck in muscle memory. Recently, the nostalgia has been replaced by admiration as I’ve watched them making smart decisions, acquiring great companies (Flickr, anyone?), and hiring all of my friends. The end result is that they’re doing some of the most interesting work online, and I found myself linking to them more and more over the last year.

So when Stewart asked if we’d be interested in coming to Yahoo, we were surprised and flattered. It’s immensely satisfying for a company as interesting and high-profile as Yahoo to validate the hard work we’ve done, and to see the future potential for growth.

After all, Upcoming was always a side project, fueled by passion and caffeine in the spare hours when we weren’t at our respective day jobs. When I think about how much we were able to pull off with so little, and what we’ll now be able to do with the staggering resources Yahoo has to offer… Well, it blows my mind a little. Sunnyvale, here we come!

I’ve posted more details on Upcoming.org, and both Gordon and Leonard have written about it on their own sites. For Yahoo’s take on it, Paul Levine from the Yahoo! Local team wrote about the news on the company blog.

Oh, and a profound thanks to everyone who’s supported the site since the beginning. I kiss you!

October 10, 2005: Thanks so much to Leonard for answering questions and covering e-mails while I was at Web 2.0 last week. We’re all getting ready for the big move later this month, but I’ll be around by e-mail and IM if you want to say hi.

110 thoughts on “Yahoo and Upcoming, Sitting In A Tree

  1. We are so incredibly proud of you. Guess we’ll have a new town to frequent. Get a spare bedroom. Loads of hugs and pats on the back. The ubrs

  2. wow, congrats! i’m a long time user of the upcoming site and look forward to seeing you guys grow with the yahoo backing it.

  3. Welcome, Andy and the rest of Upcoming!

    We’re looking forward to working with you guys, and are very excited to have you in the fold. Ready to rock even harder. . . . as a still relatively new Yahoo myself, I feel confident in saying that you will have a blast working at Yahoo! See you in Sunnyvale.

  4. Amazing. Congratulations, hope you’re filthy rich now. It’s also great to hear that Yahoo’s acquisitions are able to influence their new acquisitions. Makes it exciting to think of what will get picked up next.

    Anyway, that is excellent news. Great job.

  5. I told both you and Leonard this via IM, but it bears repeating… This couldn’t have happened to a better set of guys or a more deserving concept.

    I know my `leet low user number will go the way of the dodo when they migrate y’all over to their login system, but if you kids get to keep doing what you’re doing then I don’t mind at all.

    Congrats, yo!

  6. CONGRATULATIONS!

    This is great news!

    To be selfish: what does this mean for Vacationography? We’ve spent a lot of time adding events for our upcoming site … will we still be able to use the service and badges?

  7. jlt, no way are the services upcoming provides going away, we’re looking forward to making them way way better! There’s gonna be a full announcement in the morning (you know how that is). But we’re really excited and I don’t think you have anything to worry about.

  8. Thanks guys. Looking forward to seeing everything we can make happen for long-time users who have already entered data and are using our services, and also for people who are brand new to these concepts. ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t think we’ll have a problem with your boba either, Ryan.

  9. ็ด ไบบใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆใ€็„กๆ–™ใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆใŒ่Œใˆใฆๅ‡„ใ„ใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆๅ€ถๆฅฝ้ƒจใง็‚Žใฎใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆใ€ใใ—ใฆ็ด ไบบใง่Œใˆใ€‚ใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆๆœ€ๅ‰็ทšใ ใ‹ใ‚‰ใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆ็ณพๅผพ้ขจๅ‘‚ๅ…ทใ€‚่Œใˆ่Œใˆใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆใงใทใ‚‹ใ‚‹ใ‚“ใƒฉใ‚คใƒ–ใƒใƒฃใƒƒใƒˆใ€‚God bless.

  10. Andy, shouldn’t you be handing out cigars or something? Free shirts? Oh, wait — that’s right, you hand out your bandwidth like every day is a celebration. Great news, Andy — give ’em hell!

  11. Andy,

    This is great news! You and your partners deserve this! I love it when ingenuity and clever (and useful) web tools make it big!!! Congratulations!!!

    Scott

  12. Wonderful news, congratulations! You’re right, Yahoo! has made some great decisions recently regarding the expansion of their services. This is well deserved, congrats!

  13. Well, here are some sour grapes: I’m among the small percent of people who can no longer use my Flickr account after the move to Yahoo.

    I’m also wondering what it means for us to place all our “collaborative” stuff on these remote boxes. Who owns it? Who can use it?

  14. that’s awesome. congrats. i’d love if you could add private calendars and some evite-style event/rsvp management to upcoming. then i could use it for both public/social calendaring AND private group calendaring…. that would be awsome.

  15. Andy – You were a superstar from the day you born. You may be waxY to the world, but you’ll always be my little andy pandy bear.

    I couldn’t be more proud of you.

    I love you, mom

  16. congratulations!

    And fwiw, I’m sure that on the Japanese live chat site that comment spammed you, all they’re talking about is how much they love upcoming.org.

  17. Way to go, Andy! We are so proud of you and so happy for you. Can’t wait to visit you guys in the Bay Area. Sounds like you’ll need a lot of guest rooms in your new home.

    Love to all your beautiful family

    Peggy, Sam & Alyse

  18. Pffft. Sellout.

    Please everyone knows google is the homepage to have, also yeah they aquired flickr and made everyone crazy when they said you have to have a yahoo account to use the site, were you a google fan boy then? eh? you sellout.

  19. Anon, sorry to hear about your Flickr account migration problems. I don’t think we’ll have that problem (thanks Flickrinos for shaking out the bugs. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s definitely high on our radar.

    As far as your information, now that we actually *have* a TOS and Privacy Policy, my understanding is that you own your data, but you assign us the rights we need so we can actually show it to you (and/or others) on our site. I believe there will be an official posting shortly that should clarify things.

    Also, no need to post anonymously, we love to hear from our users!

  20. Oh by the way, my site is up for sale, if only it had a use which Yahoo will appreciate! I will keep you informed of my progress.

    On a more serious note, Congrats and keep up the good work!

  21. It’s “The American Dream 2.0”! People used to create companies to make them strong and make lots of money. Now companies hope to be bought out by larger companies (which makes them stronger and makes the owners lots of money).

    Congrats! Your success means that some other social meetup site is ready to be bought by Google.

  22. Wow, that’s great. I really like the direction that Yahoo! is heading these last couple months. As long as they keep bring people on like you and the freaks at Flickr, I’m fairly certain that this whole Web 2.0 craze will be more than a craze.

    So what will be the equivalent to FlickOff? Perhaps Downgoing?

  23. Jason: I think Flick Off spawned Flick On. How about Upgrading? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jough: I don’t want to misread your tone as that’s rough to pinpoint in the online medium, but I’m not sure you’re focusing on what *we* see as the important thing. I mean sure money is a fact of life, but my view is that actual wealth creation is about making something useful and valued.

    As a writer, you more than most know what it’s like to try to create connections in people and to try to turn ideas into something tangible. Are there economic tensions? Sure. but it’s not at all as clear-cut as you put it, and I’m sure in the appropriate context, it’d be a great topic of discussion.

    To not blather on, the way we view it is that we now have a better ability to do something that we believe in to both a greater degree and a larger audience.

    (Oh, and if it spurs others to have that same opportunity, that’s all the better in my book!)

  24. Leonard (and Gordon): Upgrading sounds good. And my congratulations excluded you two although until today, I didn’t know you two existed. For whatever reason, Mr. Waxy is a bit more famous. I think it has something to do with the color orange. Or bees.

  25. Congratulations! Although, I admit that I was personally hoping for Google since Dodgeball.com + Upcoming.org would’ve been killer. But upcoming.org + Flickr… Event Galleries anyone?

  26. Congrats Andy! The most important question though, will you have more or less time to post Waxy Links???!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. Congrats Andy! Can’t wait to see my Upcoming events appearing in my Yahoo calendar ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. maybe you and Stewart B. can get Flickr hooked into Yahoo calendar too–the Yahoo-provided photos are occasionally nice, but too static.

  28. I don’t mean to be an asshole, but it seems like this move is a little nepotistic to me. Not in the sense that Andy & co. aren’t immensely talented, but in the sense that it’s hard to see how Upcoming.org managed to blip on the Yahoo radar other than as a way to secure Andy & co. and continue to exhange their plenitful cash supplies for blogger cred.

    I also think this growing phenomenon of the well monied-search engines buying up properties could lead to a real slow down in innovation. I mean Yahoo have Flickr now yet as far as I can see there is no integration with anything other than the authentication system. Yahoo still has their own photo album product and I can find no mention of Flickr from the portal proper. Other areas that could integrate really nicely with Flickr such as Yahoo Groups are yet to show any signs of doing so.

    It’s hard for me to see how Flickr and to a lesser extent Upcoming can continue to have the speed and manueverability they once had now they are part of a bigger company with its release cycles, marketing schedules and of course the big P: politics.

    Not to pick on Upcoming too much — I know its a labour of love and all that — but is Upcoming realistically a solid platform for Yahoo to base a collaborative event scheduling product on? I find it improbable. For a start I think the metro model is problematic — what happens when you have 250,000 people in a metro? What about breaking metros up into a subset/superset model? There’s no support for timezones yet. Sure, these issues can be addressed, but couldn’t Yahoo easily build such a product from scratch? It’s also hard for me to see how Yahoo could use upcoming.ORG as a brand.

    Is there really a greater strategy at play here? Or is it a case of Yahoo simply snapping properties up so Google can’t have them and working out what to do with them later?

  29. My guess is that Yahoo didn’t buy Upcoming so much as they bought an experienced development team. One possibility is to set them to work on a new implementation for integration with Yahoo Local, with scalability in mind. Upcoming.org could either be a testbed for pre-Local code, or a front-end for experimentation with an API-driven, Yahoo-based event engine.

    As for development speed, with Andy, Gordon and Leonard working on Upcoming/Yahoo Events full-time, I don’t see how the releases can do anything but speed up. I mean, geez. They were all working real jobs, while working on Upcoming and (Andy) running Waxy Links and (Gordon) working on Ning and (Leonard) being Leonard. I was exhausted just watching them.

    A change to any stable situation brings risks. But both Yahoo and the Upcoming guys see enough upside to joining forces that they’re going forward. That’s a pretty good recommendation right there. Will there be problems? Inevitably. But everybody involved is smart, ambitious and enthusiastic. I wouldn’t bet against them.

  30. ans, you make some really insightful observations, and I can understand where your coming from. I’m not sure if there’s a way to predict in the long term whether there will be a larger trend of slowing down innovation. Others have just recently offered the opposite conjecture that the disintermediation and related second-order pressures when web teams skip the traditional start-up process may spur more innovation and risk-taking. Can this even be empirically measured? I don’t know and will leave it to the economists to ponder and write peer reviewed papers. I look forward to downloading copies in a few years.

    The topic I can definitely address is about scaling Upcoming.org. It’s something that we’ve been thinking long and hard on for quite a while. After all, our mission for delivering relevance is all directly tied to scaling. I agree that our metro model has areas that should and will be tweaked, but I think that number of people in a metro is not the primary negative factor in the relevance equation (quite the opposite). In any case, I’m going to sleep excited about cool stuff we can try out rather than worrying that if we don’t change anything things will break.

    As far as your questions of value/worth/strategy, obviously there’s no way for anyone at Yahoo! or Upcoming.org to objectively answer those questions.

    You’ve given these issues a lot of thought. The question I wish to pose for you is: What is *your* context / interest / relationship / agenda?

  31. Congratulations Wax. Have been a long time watcher and couldn’t be happier for the world’s best linker. You have something special, not just with Upcoming, but with your approach to harnessing the Internet. You are an inspiration to all trying to create the new Internet and indeed create a new world. Best of luck, and be sure to not lose the passion and vision, and utilise your new resource base effectively. Best of luck – Nathan.

  32. boo… sure a man’s got to eat. but, boo.

    boo to kissing yahoo’s ass. boo to selling out to the corporotocracy. there’s only one way the internet will stay free, and that’s if we don’t give control of all the content and applications to the major players who can ruin everything at their own whim.

    boo.

  33. mobius, my personal thoughts on how the internet will stay free is that if people in positions of leverage can push for open standards, protocols, and platforms.

    For those interested in more in-depth discussion, two of Larry Lessig’s books, Code is Law and The Future of Ideas are some of the most insightful looks at these issues. Code V2 is being collaboratively edited online here: http://codebook.jot.com/WikiHome

  34. Congrats, but i wonder if you are aware that you are now a blogger associated with a company that DOES NOT support freedom of the press. Maybe you have read Xeni Jardin’s LA Times op-ed?

  35. Congrats!

    I’ve always liked your site!

    What are you doing next? I have something you may be interested in as a new project (Everything is built)- email me if you actually ready this!

  36. Yes!

    Kudos to Paul, Andy, Gordon, Leonard and the rest who made this deal happen – Upcoming.org has been a great additional tool for us to help our clients reach localized online “event-goers” and groupings!

    Much Respect,

    David Flint

    Founder, TechVenue.com

    Since 1998, Your Venue for Business Technology Events, News and Networking

  37. I’veen raving about your user-friendly site from the platform for almost a year. Y’all make people feel welcome in participating. So close to when Yahoo bought your service I launched my blog, and will be recommending your service from sausalitobythebay – and when speaking to associaations of local government such as the National League of Cities. City government is so budget-crunched these days and your service can, among other things, help people learn mroe aobut each other and their town – if the city government touted your service and used it too.

  38. Hello,

    just to say good luck to your team in this nweenvironment. I hope that Y! will be a kind of catalyst or springboard for your creativity, even if i m still afraid by that kind of giant which can stroke you! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Well, good luck.

    Regards,

    ilias,

  39. I very for a long time searched for a site of the similar contents…Vrey interestingly also it is useful. Thanks founders. And success!

  40. It’s really too bad google didn’t snatch you up. Being bought by yahoo is like being kissed by your sister (no matter how much you spin it).

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